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Snooker: Allen calls for Hearn's head over format changes

Mark Allen booked his place in the second round of the UK Championships in York yesterday and immediately launched an attack on World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, suggesting he should leave his post.

World No 12 Allen was rarely troubled as he brushed past Adrian Gunnell 6-3 but, rather than celebrate his win, he chose to hit out at Hearn, who took over at the head of the game 18 months ago.

The Antrim star claimed that Hearn, who was voted in by the players, had vowed not to make changes to major tournaments, and is unhappy that the first and second-round matches of this event have been reduced from best-of-17 frames to 11.

The 25-year-old believes the World Championship could be the next to suffer and said: "The players don't really matter, so f**k the players. When 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've got no doubt he'll tweak the World Championship. Barry's just there to make money, it doesn't really matter about the players.

"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.

"I think in the long run he'll probably do good for snooker, but not for my generation."

Judd Trump's 6-4 victory over Dominic Dale has set up a clash with Ronnie O'Sullivan today.

Irish Independent