Sunday, 15th May 2005
WORLD No. 1 Ronnie O'Sullivan believes there is no better place than Manchester to stage top-class snooker.
The Betfred.com Premier League finals were a sell-out last weekend, with more than 1,600 spectators crammed into Manchester's International Convention Centre.
O'Sullivan didn't drop a frame on his victory march to the £50,000 winner's cheque.
He said: "The World Snooker Association could definitely learn something from the way this competition has been run.
"Manchester is great for snooker. This has been my most enjoyable tournament of the season."
It's a view echoed by a Matchroom Sport spokesman, promoters of this year's event which also attracted star players Stephen Hendry, Mark Williams and Marco Fu.
He said: "The Betfred.com Premier League has been a huge success. I'm sure the finals will come back to Manchester again. It's a very popular competition and the ICC is a great venue."
Manchester was one of a number of cities linked with hosting future World Championship, although the tournament will stay in Sheffield for the next five years at its spiritual home of the Crucible Theatre.
But after 2010 the World Championship may move to Manchester, especially if the Betfred.com League continues to attract the crowds.
Seven-times world champion Stephen Hendry, who lost to O'Sullivan in this year's semi-finals at the ICC, also believes Manchester could be a hotbed for future snooker tournaments.
Hendry said: "I'd never played in Manchester before, but the Premier League is great because you get to play in lots of different cities. It helps promote the game.
"The set-up here in Manchester is great. It's a great venue and the event attracts the best players, so it's good for the crowd."
Meanwhile, O'Sullivan, a beaten quarter- finalist at this year's Embassy World Championship, believes world champion Shaun Murphy has a "bright future" in the game.
O'Sullivan said: "It was a big shock that he (Shaun) won the World Championship, but there's a lot of young players coming through. He played well in his matches and at 22 you've got to say `well done' for what he did."
O'Sullivan, himself, is undecided whether to take a year out of the game.
"I don't know what to do yet, whether to take time off or not. I know the fans like watching me, but I think snooker's in great shape with all these young lads coming through.
"There's a lot of players who could probably win the World Championship, so even if I don't play next season they'll plenty of good players to watch."
Should Ronnie take a year off? Have your say.
Yeah, Ronnie, go for it. The reason you have the idea is because you want it. Get out of the rut and try something different. Going back then will even be more exiting, with an extra aspect of your new experience integrated into Snooker. You are a master, now you can innovate! No looking back, no regret, have funj. You can do it!
12/06/2005 at 17:20
RONNIE STAY WITH US!!!! Romania loves ronnie. I think he is the best player ever and no other could make me forget his absence the following season. He should recover until october. Besides, I think he will realise at one point how much he misses the game and will be sorry he is'n where the action is.
22/05/2005 at 17:26
I think Ronnie shouldn't take a year off. Yes, there are new young talented players but the tournament wouldn't be the same, Ronnie has a special way of playing that can't be matched with any other player old or new and it would be a terrible loss for snooker if he wouldn't come, it would be like a part of the game would be missing.
16/05/2005 at 12:56
I think that Ronnie shell not take a year off as no one is able to replace this Great Player!!! As for his tiredness... he better do it during inter seasonal break. This should be enough. I wish Ronnie to have really nice vacation and free his mind of all troubles. Ronnie, I really consider you as most excellent player! We are waiting for you next season.
16/05/2005 at 07:52
Ronnie est le meilleur jouer de monde et sans lui le tournament ne sera pas interessante. Je l'adorre.
Nina K, 55 (pokud někdo umí francouzsky, pošlete mi pls překlad toho příspěvku, abych ho mohla doplnit do české verze – díky Dana)
16/05/2005 at 07:48
ronnie has to show everyone he can pas by hart moments and go on we hope this is going to be his desision
15/05/2005 at 17:47