Snooker: Hearn ready to respond after Allen accuses him of ruining snooker

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn was expected to issue a response later today to Mark Allen’s call for him to be deposed.Allen launched an out-of-character tirade against Hearn after his UK Championship first-round win over Adrian Gunnell at the Barbican Centre in York, accusing the veteran promoter of looking to “make money for himself”.

The 25-year-old’s main bone of contention appeared to be the altered format of the tournament, one of three events along with the World Championship and the Masters that he claims Hearn vowed not to tinker with when he took up office.

First and second-round matches have previously been played over 17 frames, but this year they have been reduced to the best of 11, all played in one session, while the partition that separated the tables has been removed, allowing fans to watch two games.

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Some players have defended the new format, while others have voiced concerns over the direction snooker is heading in, but Allen has gone one step further by calling for Hearn, who took over at the top of the sport 18 months ago, to be replaced.

“The players don’t really matter, so **** the players,” he said. “Whenever Barry came in, one of the first things he said was that the World Championships, UK and Masters wouldn’t be touched. Only 18 months later, the UK format has changed.

“I don’t think he’s pleasing too many players, but anyone who voted for him has only got themselves to blame. I wasn’t one of them. I’ve got no doubt he’ll tweak the World Championship. Barry’s just there to make money for himself The whole tradition of the game is going to pot. It’s not all about bringing people in to watch and have a good time, shouting and having a drink. He needs to get away from the darts factor.”