Snooker: Breakaway threatened as McKenzie faces dismissal

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The Independent Online
Snooker's civil war is about to erupt again with the threat of a breakaway professional body a "distinct possibility". Doyle, who manages the world champion, Ken Doherty, and the world No 1, Stephen Hendry, along with 14 other players, is angry that the sport's chief executive, Jim McKenzie, could be dismissed tomorrow just five months after his appointment.

The call for McKenzie's resignation at a meeting in Preston is likely to come from Rex Williams, chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. Williams has refused to comment on the matter, but yesterday McKenzie said: "I have been asked to attend the meeting. I've not been advised as to what's on the agenda."

Doyle, who backed Williams as chairman earlier this year, is ready to use his players' voting power by calling for Williams' dismissal at a special general meeting if McKenzie is dismissed. "Rex's arrogance is matched only by his ego," Doyle said. "I supported him on the understanding that a management team would be appointed and given the freedom to manage this great sport's affairs.

"We want to go down the proper road and retain the credibility of the WPBSA. But if that fails, then a breakaway organisation is a distinct possibility."

The dispute over McKenzie may have further consequence. Joe Beeston, the chief executive of Highland Spring who recommended McKenzie, is ready to withdraw the company's sponsorship of February's Scottish Open.

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