Ronnie O’Sullivan says snooker “needs to get its act together” after admitting he would advise children against playing the sport.
O'Sullivan is in Singapore to officially launch the Ronnie O'Sullivan Snooker Academy, and is set to play an exhibition tournament on Saturday alongside China's Zhao Xintong and women's world champion Nutcharut 'Mink' Wongharuthai of Thailand.
Speaking about the challenges snooker faces, world champion O’Sullivan admitted the sport is in a “tough position” given its competition.
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"It's hard because obviously football is such a big sport now, tennis, golf,” O’Sullivan told SNTV.
“You have all these sports so if you're a parent, and if you're looking at a sport for your son or daughter to get involved in, would you choose snooker? You probably wouldn't.
“So it's really difficult to sort of get excited about snooker. You know, I love snooker, I've played it all my life, but also I'm a parent as well and I think if I was advising my children on a sport to play, snooker would be the last sport I probably want them to play.
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“I'd say maybe try tennis, maybe try golf, play football, maybe athletics, you know all that sort of stuff. So snooker's in a really tough position at the moment, of where it goes, so it's up against a lot of other good sports.
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“Snooker needs to get its act together I think, more importantly, and at the moment, you can't compare it to all the other sports really."
Asked whether a big investment would help snooker, O’Sullivan added: "I think it'd be fantastic for the sport if that was to happen. You need someone like a big backer like the Saudi-people to just come along and say 'look, this is what we are going to do' and the players will be like 'yeah, great', they probably go for it. That probably would be a good thing for snooker.
"It may be China, maybe Saudi (Arabia), maybe one of them places I think. You need someone with deep pockets that can afford to put maybe a hundred million aside, this is it for the next five years, the players' futures are secured, they know where they are, you know then that would be great for snooker.”
O’Sullivan won his seventh world title in May after beating Judd Trump 18-13 in the final.
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The 46-year-old admitted he was not entirely enjoying his time at the Crucible, but felt the pressure to perform with a television crew following him for a documentary.
"I decided a long time ago that if something got too much pressure, or I thought you know what, I'm not really enjoying this, then it's probably better that I lose and let somebody else have that place.
“And I felt that during this world championships. I didn't really enjoy it. But I had this film crew following me so I thought, I better try hard because they're following me. So that was why I won it. It wasn't because I wanted to win it. It was just that I felt bad for the TV crew.
He added: "I don't even actually like talking about snooker. I enjoy playing it but I don't really want to be too involved in it. So obviously winning the world championships, it really turned everything around and everyone was like, 'Ah you're world champion this, world number one', I was like oh no, I don't want to be known as that person anymore.
“I just want to enjoy my life you know, but when you're in the spotlight, everybody gets excited. I'm like, I don't really want to be that person anymore."
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