So Sir Rodney Walker has been deposed as WPBSA chairman but – and far be it from me to water down the widespread jubilation there appears to be in the game at this moment – the road ahead may be rocky.
Walker, Jim McMahon and Mike Dunn have indeed been voted off the board of the WPBSA. However, Walker and McMahon remain directors of World Snooker Limited, the commercial body that runs alongside the main board.
I think they should both resign from it because the players clearly don’t want them...but that doesn’t mean that they will.
The WPBSA board now has only two members: Lee Doyle and Hamish McInnes.
The constitution apparently decrees they co-opt a professional first. This should not be a player associated with either rival camp.
I would suggest an experienced, uncontroversial player who commands widespread respect, like Alan McManus or Nigel Bond.
They should immediately co-opt Barry Hearn to the board. The players have made it clear today that they want Hearn in as chairman. Failure to co-opt him would destroy the game's credibility and lead to an EGM to remove Doyle and McInnes.
Once in place, Hearn and his fellow board members should co-opt other responsible members and begin the process of renewing this bruised and battered sport.
There should not be recriminations or triumphalism. Sir Rodney should be thanked for his efforts as chairman and we should look only to the future, not the past.
Hearn’s first priority as chairman should be an independent financial audit of the association to discover its true position, because only then can he put together a business plan.
There should also be a review of senior staff to see if the WPBSA is getting value for money.
There should be a review of the tournament structure, with input from players, and of how to expand the ranking system.
There should be meetings with private promoters, many of whom have been ignored by the outgoing administration, to try and start up new events.
There should be an investigation into the financial position of the World Snooker Academy, the accounts for which have never been disclosed.
There should be a review of the WPBSA’s media strategy – assuming it has one – to ascertain how to return the sport to the newspapers.
There should be meetings with broadcasters and sponsors to reassure them as to the way forward.
In effect, the entire sport should be relaunched.
Make no mistake, miracles will not happen overnight. Tournaments will not magically appear, but one of the things that certainly helped tip the balance in favour of Hearn was a declaration from IMG today that they would be happy to work with him on the new world tour plans announced last week.
Hearn has great energy. He relishes a challenge and I have no doubt he and his team will roll up their sleeves and get stuck in almost immediately.
Not everything they will do will meet favour with everyone, but with Steve Davis acting as a guiding hand, I think any fears that snooker’s integrity will be threatened are unfounded.
This is a day of hope, a day many feared would not come.
Professional snooker is still a relatively young sport. It’s already had one boom, who is to say it can’t have another: in Europe, the Middle East and Asia?
It’s still morning in the snooker world and there’s still much that our game can accomplish.
And it starts today.