Barry Hearn talks about the new season, wild cards and Allen and Williams' recent comments

19:10:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Things are getting hot in Sheffield, World Snooker Ltd. Chairman Barry Hearn making a few announcements in today's press conference about the coming snooker season and the future actions to be taken against Mark Allen and Mark Williams, following their recent comments on the media and their personal Twitter accounts.

Another big announcement was the fact that Luca Brecel and Tony Drago will receive a two-year spot on the Main Tour.

Hearn's statement reads:

"A change of format for the German Masters and Welsh Open next season. Players ranked 33-96 will play one match, with the winners to face players ranked 1-32 (exact format, in terms of how many players at the venue, is to be confirmed)."

"German Masters prize money increased to 300,000 Euros with a top prize of 60,000 Euros. Welsh Open up to £250,000 with the winner to get £50,000."

"European Tour (part of the Players Tour Championship series) events in Belgium, Bulgaria, Poland, two in Germany and one more. Prize money for each increased to 70,000 Euros. Snooker is the most watched sport on Eurosport, with outstanding viewing figures."

"Prize money for PTC Grand Finals increased to £300,000 with a top prize of £100,000."

"Future prize money increases are likely to be given to PTC events as they have the fairest structure. Snooker should be a meritocracy with less protection of the top players. Ability should be the only criteria. The PTC events are also likely to be given more ranking points."

"The two places allocated to Europe in the tour qualifying criteria will be given to the top two players from continental Europe not already qualified. They are Tony Drago and Luca Brecel. They will both be given a tour card for the next two seasons."

"Two years from now, a ranking system based on prize money rather than ranking points will be introduced. For the next two seasons, the money list will run parallel to the points list. The two advantages of the money list will be a) it's easier to understand for the general public b) New players coming on to the tour will have a better chance to climb quickly."

Update: WPBSA statement on Mark Allen's case:

' Mark Allen was recently fined £1,000 for comments made in China during the Haikou World Open last month, and now faces further action.

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said: "The WPBSA is responsible for the governance of snooker worldwide and takes very seriously comments made which could be perceived to be directed at a particular nation. The Chairman of the disciplinary committee Nigel Mawer is making further inquiries into this incident. Mark Allen will be given 14 days to respond to the letter." '

Below you have the press conference where Hearn's talking about taking actions against Allen and Williams.