SNOOKER: Court Verdict Puts WPBSA on Brink

Article excerpt

Snooker's governing body is facing a bleak financial future after losing a High Court action against the company it controversially sacked just ten months into a ten-year management contract.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association have been ordered to pay pounds 412,602 plus pounds 30,000 interim legal costs to World Snooker Enterprises, who brought the claim.

The pay-out will be a significant blow to WPBSA's resources, which have already been depleted following the enforced withdrawal of sponsorship from tobacco firms from all events except the Embassy World Championship because of government legislation.

WSE sued for breach of contract, which stated they could claim a year's management fees plus interest if they were dismissed.

They pointed to a clause in their contract stating they had been appointed 'to manage the business at their sole discretion.'

WSE were appointed to manage the commercial affairs of the WPBSA in October 2002.

The governing body had appealed for an investment partner because of its perilous financial position. Altium Sport Ltd, a consortium supported by leading players Stephen Hendry and Mark Williams, pledged to invest pounds 2. …