Snooker: Troubled Ferguson falters on and off the table

By James Rowland
Friday 21 December 2001 01:00

Jason Ferguson, the game's top administrator, will be hoping to have better luck off the table than he enjoyed on it at Burton yesterday when he was knocked out of the qualifiers for the Thailand Masters.

The 32-year-old from Mansfield was beaten 5-2 by Chester's Nick Walker in the third round of the preliminary leg of the event.

Ferguson, the world No 56, succeeded Mark Wildman as the chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, snooker's governing body, earlier this month.

After just one week in office, he rocked the sport by endorsing a board decision to sack the chief executive, Jim McKenzie, a move that has angered several leading players, including the world and UK champion, Ronnie O'Sullivan.

To add to the confusion, no reason has been given for the dismissal and the ensuing upheaval has meant Ferguson has been unable to practise properly for three weeks. His highest break was just 37 and he could manage only six points in the last two frames.

Meanwhile Ali Carter compiled back-to-back breaks of 141 and 123 as he beat Antony Bolsover 5-2. Bjorn Haneveer, the Belgian No 1, made breaks of 130, 55, 56, 69, 67 and 50 to beat the former top 16 player Steve James 5-2.

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