Jury still out on future of top snooker in York

York Press: Neil Robertson celebrates his UK Championship win in York Neil Robertson celebrates his UK Championship win in York

WORLD Snooker bosses have pledged to consider “every option” before deciding the future of the UK Championship in York.

The status of the tournament in the Minster city has been in doubt since a host of top players complained about the conditions during the event, which was won earlier this month by Australian Neil Robertson.

World Snooker chief Barry Hearn also lit the flame when declaring York Barbican was no longer big enough to host the second biggest tournament in the game.

The 13-day extravaganza saw all 128 competitors entering at the first round stage.

The Barbican’s deal to host the UK, which returned to York in 2011 following a five-year absence, ran out when Robertson picked up the trophy.

Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, which staged the successful Champion of Champions event, has emerged as a strong favourite to take over the hosting of the tournament.

Speaking during the UK, Hearn had said: “We know the venue is not right and we have made some mistakes, next year that will change but we were committed to York.

“People who expect perfection in one year are sadly misled. York and the Barbican centre are fantastic but it is just not big enough now.”

He added: “Players have shared a practice table in York, we are not idiots, and we know that isn’t right.

“The only decision was whether to delay the 128 until next year, but the time was right.

“But some players have been so pampered and so spoilt they don’t understand you have to put up with the odd thing going wrong.”

Hearn has since expressed his fondness for York and World Snooker director Jason Ferguson said he believed it was unlikely the sport would be pulled out of the city entirely.

A World Snooker spokesman, meanwhile, said: “The situation at the moment is that no decision about the UK Championship has been made and there are discussions to be had with all parties first.

“We genuinely love York, the Barbican and the fans there and we will consider every option.”

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