MARK ALLEN has branded the playing conditions on the World Snooker Tour as “nothing short of shocking” this season.
The Pistol – winner of three tournaments within four months – has given an uncomplimentary assessment of the quality of tables that the professionals have faced since last summer.
Snooker star Mark Allen admitted he may be fined for his recent remarksPA
Allen’s beef is with the fitting of the individual tables – the cloths and cushions for example – claiming it is has gotten worse since chiefs changed companies last year.
The Northern Ireland player, 37, joked he might be fined for these comments but it is unlikely to hurt him too much given his £560,000 campaign earnings.
He said: “I can only speak for myself but the conditions this year have been nothing short of shocking – the playing conditions have been terrible.
“I’ll probably get a fine for that, but yeah, it is the case – they have been dreadful. Sometimes that reflects on how people play.
“People laugh and say: ‘Oh, you said the conditions were bad in that match and then someone else made three centuries in the next session.’
“Every session can play different and I think overall this season they have been really poor.
“It’s no coincidence that the old table-fitters that used to be here for years and years are no longer here.
“And now we are getting really bad conditions. So make of that what you will.”
Mark Allen blasted the World Snooker Tour’s playing conditionsGetty
A World Snooker Tour spokesperson said: “Our table fitters are the best in the world.
“The team includes fitters with extensive experience who have worked on snooker for many years.
“We have taken this team fully in-house in recent times and have set up our own warehouse and workshop. This is to ensure we have greater control over conditions.
“Playing conditions have improved dramatically in recent years, particularly with innovations such as the anti-static cloth which has helped to virtually eliminate kicks.
“There has been some outstanding snooker played this season. For example at the Masters there were 30 centuries in 15 matches, and there have already been nine maximum breaks this season.
“There has been no change this season in terms of the equipment from our suppliers. Our outstanding tables, cloth and snooker balls help provide the best possible conditions.”
Meanwhile, seven-time world snooker champion Stephen Hendry will take part in Crucible qualifying next month in Sheffield.
That is despite winning just ONE FRAME in three matches this term.