Ronnie O'Sullivan: Defending champion critical of English Open venue

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Ronnie O’Sullivan won the 2017 English Open in Barnsley

Ronnie O’Sullivan has described the venue for this year’s English Open as “a hellhole” and urged World Snooker to spend more money on tournament hosts.

The five-time world champion won his first-round match at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley against Kurt Maflin but was unhappy with conditions.

“It’s such a bad venue, it demotivates you to want to play,” the 42-year-old said following Monday’s 4-1 victory.

“This is about as bad as I’ve ever seen. It’s a bit of a hellhole.”

O’Sullivan is the defending English Open champion, having beaten Kyren Wilson in Barnsley in 2017.

But after dispatching world number 50 Maflin in just over an hour, he did not hold back on his thoughts on the Sussex venue.

“I don’t know what this gaff is but I’ve just done an interview and all I can smell is urine,” he added.

“It’s just got no atmosphere in there. I’m practising and I’ve got wires all around the table. There’s no security, you’ve got people running at you left, right and centre.

“It’s not the fans’ fault. They [World Snooker] haven’t obviously got the budget to run it properly.

“I don’t know where their budget is but they’re cutting corners. I think they should invest in good venues. Players deserve better.”

World Snooker have been approached for comment.



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