Judd Trump backs Ronnie O’Sullivan over maximum break bonuses row

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Trump backs O'Sullivan over 147 debate (credit:World Snooker)

Trump backs O’Sullivan over 147 debate (credit:World Snooker)

Judd Trump says he agrees with Ronnie O’Sullivan that players should “make a stand” in protest over the new maximum break bonus system.

Traditionally, World Snooker has operated a rolling prize fund for maximum breaks made in professional competition, with some major events offering added cash incentives, but a new collective bonus system is now in operation as of this season.

Should a minimum of 20 players achieve the perfect frame throughout the 2019/20 campaign, they will each gain a share of a lucrative £1 million bonus fund.

That means if a 147 is made by 20 different players, they will each share £50,000 at the end of the season.

O’Sullivan, who has made 15 official maximum breaks, four more than any other player in history, has criticised the new system and insisted he will turn down the chance of a maximum should the opportunity arise.

He told Eurosport: “It’s a massive thing for any snooker player to make a 147.

“If you get into the eighties and nineties then you start to feel it and on the colours, you feel like your heart is pumping out of your chest with every ball.

“They are made a lot more regularly now so it’s not like years ago when [Cliff] Thorburn made his, it was like a miracle then.

“I think you’ll just find players that are in a position where they can get on the black but they’ll just play for the blue instead so you’ll see a lot less 147s because unless there’s a prize in it for the player, there’s no point in taking a risk.

“There’s always a shot at some point during the break where you think it’s not the right shot to play for the black but with 50 or 60 grand or 170 grand like there used to be for the World Championship…

“I don’t think there’s been one [a maximum] in Sheffield for a while now because there’s no prize, apart from the one they put up this year.”

Trump, speaking alongside O’Sullivan in the Eurosport studio following his 4-0 whitewash of Daniel Wells at the English Open, said: “I agree with Ronnie on this.

“I think it’s such an achievement.

“It’s such a special thing and I every time I’m on a 147 there’s more pressure than winning any title.

“It definitely deserves a reward, he’s [O’Sullivan] right – you deserve a prize for it.”

When asked if he would turn down a chance of making a maximum, Trump added: “I’ll have to see when I get to it and what I feel like in the moment.

“Ronnie’s made a lot more than me so he’s in the position to turn them down but I think somebody needs to make a stand.

“I know Ronnie’s done it before where he wasn’t going to pot the black but it definitely deserves a bigger reward.”

Tom Ford has made the only maximum of the season so far during the International Championship qualifiers, meaning a further 19 need to be made before the end of the season if the £1 million bonus is to be triggered.

Twelve maximums were made last season and there have been 152 officially recorded in professional competition since 1982.

Trump was speaking after whitewashing Wells in just 54 minutes to reach the Last 32 in Crawley, while O’Sullivan had earlier recovered from 3-1 down to edge out 19-year-old Yuan Sijun in a deciding frame.

The reigning World Champion will now face Lee Walker on Thursday afternoon, while 2017 English Open winner O’Sullivan takes on Iran’s Hossein Vafaei.