Snooker: Allen attacks Hearn over 'darts factor'

Mark Allen booked his place in the second round of the UK Championship in York yesterday then launched an attack on World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, during which he suggested he should leave his post.

Allen, who defeated Adrian Gunnell 6-3, is unhappy at Hearn's changing of the tournament format and he believes his sport is becoming more like another of Hearn's sports, darts. "The players don't really matter, so fuck the players," Allen said. "When Barry came in, one of the first things he said was that the World Championships, UK and Masters wouldn't be touched. Only 18 months later, the UK format has changed. I don't think he's pleasing too many players, but anyone who voted for him has only got themselves to blame. I wasn't one of them.

"I've got no doubt he'll tweak the World Championship. Barry's just there to make money for himself, it doesn't really matter about the players. The whole tradition of the game is going to pot.

"It's not all about bringing people in to watch and have a good time, shouting and having a drink. He needs to get away from the darts factor. It's getting close to that. I think in the long run he'll probably do good for snooker, but not for my generation. It's time to let someone else have a go."

Two of the game's entertainers, Judd Trump and Ronnie O'Sullivan, will play each other in the second round after Trump's 6-4 defeat of Dominic Dale yesterday.

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