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Snooker: Allen bullish over Hearn legal threat

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has said he will seek legal advice following Mark Allen's comments about his running of the sport.

On Monday, Allen called for Hearn to step aside, accusing him of reneging on promises and looking to "make money for himself."

The 25-year-old Antrim man also claimed Hearn's attitude was one of "f*** the players," an outburst that has brought him a referral to the game's governing body, the WPBSA.

"I'm disappointed by the personal attack Mark has made on me with his comments that are slanderous and will be taking legal advice," said Hearn, adding that he was "far too busy to worry about silly little boys making silly little comments".

Allen said the possibility of legal action was "a little bit childish," saying: "Last time I checked all the players had freedom of speech. If he wants to take legal action, that is no problem, I will fight it all the way."

Meanwhile, Ricky Walden moved into the quarter-finals of the UK Championships in York with a surprise 6-3 win over Mark Williams. The 29-year-old announced himself when he beat Ronnie O'Sullivan to win the Shanghai Masters in 2008, but failed to build on that success.

"It's been difficult. I expected to kick on and win a few more, but it doesn't always work like that," he said.

The other second-round match was more dramatic, with Shaun Murphy holding off a Martin Gould fightback to win 6-4 and set up a meeting with Walden. The 2005 world champion raced into a 5-0 lead, but Gould battled back and Murphy had to dig deep.

UK Masters,

Live, BBC2, Eurosport, 12.30 & 7.0

Irish Independent