/ Snooker

Hearn has talks with Allen

Updated: Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012 11:29

Barry Hearn believes his attempt to alleviate the fears of Mark Allen has been successful
Barry Hearn believes his attempt to alleviate the fears of Mark Allen has been successful

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn believes he has won over Mark Allen after a "frank and friendly" discussion with the UK Championship runner-up who called for him to quit last month.

Allen has been unhappy to see the format of tournaments changed since Hearn took charge of the professional game two years ago, and expressed his fear that the World Championship would be the next to have an overhaul.

Northern Irishman Allen claimed last month that Hearn was in snooker simply "to make money for himself" and had no interest in player welfare, and argued "the whole tradition of the game is going to pot".

Hearn said at the time he would take legal advice but has dropped any thoughts of suing 25-year-old Allen.

Discussing the talks he held with Allen, Hearn told BBC Sport: "We had a good meeting and the chat we had was good at opening his mind as to where he wants to be.

"Does he want to be a superstar in an ever-expanding global sport, or does he want to go back to billiard halls and snooker parlours and eke out a living?"

Hearn added: "I explained my strategy and I think he's a little wiser now.

"Every player must look on decisions that I make as 'how does this affect me personally?' My job is 'how does it affect the game?' It's my way or the highway.

"Mark's prize money this year is probably double what he's earned in the last couple of years so I must be doing something right. We had a very frank and friendly exchange of views and in the end I think he saw my point of view, but time will tell."

Hearn has previously said the World Championship was the one tournament he would not want to change.

He has now reiterated that view, but stressed it may become unavoidable in future.

Hearn called the Crucible tournament "an eccentric piece of British sport" and added: "It's all quite alien to the way sport is generally now with the demand for fast-track results and quick action but you can never say never, any tweaking would depend on what my customers tell me they want."