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Ronnie O’Sullivan involved in awkward exchange after beating Ali Carter to win the Masters


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Ronnie O’Sullivan was involved in an awkward exchange with snooker boss Steve Dawson after winning the Masters on Sunday night.

The 48-year-old was too strong for Ali Carter, winning 10-7 at Alexandra Palace having trailed his rival 6-3 at one point.

O’Sullivan has a strained relationship with Dawson, with the pair previously having a war of words.

Dawson previously called the snooker legend ‘misguided’, ‘disrespectful’ and ‘damaging’.

Ronnie O'Sullivan Steve Dawson

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Steve Dawson had an awkward exchange at the Masters on Sunday night


And relations between the pair didn’t seem positive at Ally Pally last night.

As O’Sullivan stood to collect his trophy, he appeared reluctant to look at Dawson at first.

While he eventually fist-bumped both Dawson and Savvas Fellas, founder of MRQ which sponsors the Masters, he didn’t seem inclined to talk to the former.

He instead spoke to Fellas, snubbing Dawson despite the trio all posing for pictures together.

Dawson tried to get the Rocket’s attention but to no avail.

O’Sullivan only turned in his direction when his son and daughter joined him for the photoshoot.

The bad blood between the pair started in March last year, with O’Sullivan saying snooker was ‘in the worst place it has ever been’.

He said at the time: “Listen, snooker is in a bad place.

“It’s in trouble. This needs at least another £50 million a year just to make it a proper tour.

“When you look at the number, it’s bad. When you look at £10 million prize money for 25 events across the year for 128 players, it’s never going to be good.”

O’Sullivan then seemingly called for a change of management, in what was clearly a dig at Dawson and how he manages the sport.

“It needs at least to triple that to make it work,” he said.

“Maybe you do need some proper people like Liberty [in Formula One] or someone with the vision to bring it up to date.

“You look at the people actually managing the game, they are not the brightest sparks either. So you can’t see them digging themselves out of it.

“But you don’t have to be Einstein. It is probably in the worst place it has ever been. The image of the sport, it’s a bit like a pub sport now.”


Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan didn’t want to look at Steve Dawson when they met at the Masters on Sunday night


But Dawson didn’t take kindly to his comments and hit back by saying: “Ronnie is a fantastic player and a legend of our sport, but sometimes his misguided comments go too far.

“I feel it’s necessary to respond to some of the damaging remarks he made to the press this week.

“Firstly, Ronnie has never attended a players’ meeting or engaged with us to discuss his opinions.

“There are three formal levels where he can provide feedback: through the WST Board, through the WPBSA Players’ board or through players’ meetings, and he has not engaged through any of these channels.

“He also has my number and is welcome to speak with me directly.”

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan was delighted after beating Ali Carter to win the Masters


Dawson then continued his condemnation of O’Sullivan by questioning whether he was a good role model.

“He often compares snooker to golf and tennis, but I would challenge him as to whether for his part he elevates the sport and acts as a role model like a Rory McIlroy or Roger Federer,” he added.

“We are striving to take snooker to a higher level, but we need the players to be ambassadors in public, and to communicate any concerns they have through the right channels.

“Comments like those from Ronnie this week are damaging to us as a sport – and they’re unfounded.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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