Snooker: Griffiths plays the peacemaker in divided game

TERRY GRIFFITHS has always loved snooker with a purer passion than a mere lust for titles. Endlessly fascinated by its mechanics and complexities, he is its most fervent evangelist.

Director of coaching for the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association was an ideal niche for him when he retired from the circuit two years ago after 17 years ranked in the elite top 16. His resignation from the post last Monday, with a pounds 50,000 year left on his contract, was an attempt to prevent the WBPSA destroying itself from within.

On Friday, the 50-year-old former world champion brokered a truce in the civil war which had been raging since the governing body's chairman, Rex Williams, had gained the support of two boardroom colleagues, Jim Meadowcroft and Bob Close, to bring about the summary dismissal of the chief executive, Jim McKenzie, against the wishes of the three other board members.

Aghast at the decision, Ian Doyle, manager of Stephen Hendry, the world No 1, Ken Doherty, the world champion, Ronnie O'Sullivan, the UK champion, and 10 other leading players, said that he would use the voting strength this confers to remove Williams, Meadowcroft and Close at an EGM but this was quickly represented by Williams as an attempt by Doyle to control the game.

Four months of internecine strife have encompassed an acrimonious AGM on 19 December at which Williams controversially ousted two of his boardroom opponents, Mark Wildman and Jim Chambers, but thanks to the diplomacy of Griffiths the EGM, scheduled for next Wednesday, will not take place. Griffiths would not have resigned as director of coaching had he been happy with the current administration but he was mindful of the dangers of destabilisation. This Wednesday was no time for a shoot-out because an alternative government could not immediately be put in place.

Popular and trusted, Griffiths last week gathered enough proxies among players with voting rights - anyone ranked in the top 40 during the last two seasons - to hold the balance of power. Enlisting the support of two friends of long standing, Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor, these three former world champions met Doyle and Williams on Friday, threatening each with support for the other unless truce terms were agreed. There would be no EGM; the WPBSA's ban on Doyle attending tournaments would be rescinded; Hendry would not be hauled before the disciplinary committee for his reaction to McKenzie's dismissal: "Snooker is poisoned from top to bottom."

More significantly, Griffiths, the WPBSA secretary Martyn Blake, and Doyle's No 2 John Gilmour will join an independent lawyer on a constitutional review panel which will recommend a players' board for playing matters and an executive board, recruited from the commercial world and the professions, for business affairs. This will penetrate to the root of many of the WPBSA's problems: a board of players and ex- players dealing with matters beyond their experience.

A chief executive and appropriate management structure will be put in place though questions on a possible role for McKenzie have been ducked by all sides on the grounds that his action against the WPBSA for breach of contract is grinding its way through the legal system. Williams and the current board remain but the truce agreement provides for the recommendations of the review panel to be binding on all disputants. A redefining of roles will follow.

Griffiths was pleased with his peace-making but realistic: "There's a long way to go yet."

Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

(Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Principle Geotechnical Engineer

£55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices