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Mark Allen “sincerely” apologises to WST after “damaging” criticism

Jonathan Davies in Snooker News

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Allen has apologised to WST (Taka G Wu/Alamy Live News)

Mark Allen has apologised following his recent criticism of WST, claiming his comments about snooker’s governing body were “damaging”.

The world number three slammed WST during a recent interview, describing their statements as “amateurish” and suggested the players boycott upcoming events after claiming the game had gone “nowhere in recent years”.

Allen’s comments came amid an ongoing feud between the players and governing body, who threatened disciplinary action against five players who withdrew from the Northern Ireland Open to play in a lucrative, non-sanctioned exhibition in Macau, which has since been moved to December, due to a “breach of the player contract”.

“I think the game is in disarray, it’s gone nowhere in recent years,” the Pistol recently told the Irish Mirror. “I do not think that anything will change until the players revolt and, in my view, we need to boycott collectively as top players missing an event, that’s the only way things will ever change.

“The statements WST have been putting out are amateurish. To say that they’ve treated the players with respect is laughable. There’s a lot of guaranteed money for these exhibitions. Whereas, the prize money for the Home Nations in particular has really stagnated. Ultimately, if prize money is bigger in events like Belfast then people wouldn’t even consider exhibitions.

“They’re able to hide behind the players’ contract. That doesn’t mean it’s right or it’s fair. I just know if I was one of the players involved then I would have taken a stand because the contract we have is far too restrictive.

“If you don’t sign the contract, you can’t play snooker. So ultimately, you have to sign it because I want to play tournaments, compete and earn a living for my family, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy with a lot of things in the contract.”

But Allen has since changed his stance against WST, who threatened action against him for “false and defamatory” remarks.

He wrote on X: “In a recent media interview with the Irish Mirror, I made comments about players not playing in WST events, as well as other comments about World Snooker, which were damaging and I unreservedly withdraw them.

“I regret and sincerely apologise for making these comments, and look forward to working with World Snooker in the future to ensure our great sport, and the players that make it, reaches its full potential and delivers for fans around the world.”

Allen’s Northern Ireland Open title defence ended late on Tuesday after he was beaten in the second round 4-3 by Andres Petrov on the final black.

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