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Ronnie O'Sullivan calls for massive change to World Snooker Championship that could anger fans

Ronnie O'Sullivan calls for massive change to World Snooker Championship that could anger fans

The World Snooker Championship gets underway on April 20.

Ronnie O'Sullivan has called for a major change to the World Snooker Championship ahead of the tournament, which begins on April 20.

O'Sullivan, 48, jointly holds the record for the most world titles in the modern era, seven, along with Stephen Hendry.

'The Rocket' could win the tournament for a historic eighth time at its traditional home of the Crucible in Sheffield.

The venue has a contract to host the event until 2027, which would mark its 50th anniversary.

But O'Sullivan believes it is time the tournament moved away from the Crucible, believing the facilities at the South Yorkshire venue are no longer suitable - suggesting the World Championship be moved to China or Saudi Arabia.

He told The Sun: "I don't like the Crucible. I don't think you can get in and out of it. I think definitely it's a wise decision to take it away from Sheffield.

"Still have a tournament there. Why not? But just not the world championship over 17 days.

"It's a massive circus and you need a massive space to accommodate it. I think Saudi Arabia would be great. They've got the resources and would do it great.

"If you're going to take it to China, you'd have to take it to Shanghai. Or another major city like Shenzhen or Guangzhou.

"It'd be done properly. Courtesy cars will be laid on. Food will be there. Hotels will be great. Everything would be paid for. Prize money would be astronomical.

"The snooker becomes secondary. What are the facilities like? What's it like for the fans? What's the access like? You don't need a 10 out of 10 venue. But everything else has to be right."

Last month O'Sullivan played in both the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh and the Chinese city of Yushan.

O'Sullivan wants to see the tournament moved (Image: Getty)
O'Sullivan wants to see the tournament moved (Image: Getty)

Explaining his reasons for wanting the World Championship moved, O'Sullivan added: "I know at the Crucible you get nice tea there, you might get lasagne if the guys are cooking. But that’s about it.

"A lot of the problem with Sheffield is you get no peace and quiet, you cannot even park there. This year I'll take my electric bike, with a suit and rucksack. Fold it up, sit in the venue an hour beforehand, take my time.

"Trying to get in and out of Sheffield, it's a nightmare. It's a one-way system. But then you get roadworks or a diversion.

"You don't want all that. You don't get all that in Shanghai.

"You get a courtesy car to pick you up. Roads are shut off. Ten security guards walk you in. There are practice tables. Beautiful food.

"You end up giving your time to the fans because I haven't had the stress and hassle.

"When you are playing in a competition, you just want peace of mind, you don't want to be driven mad. You don't want to be hassled."

Featured Image Credit: ITV and Getty

Topics: Snooker, Ronnie OSullivan, Saudi Arabia