A defiant Mark Allen believes his fellow players “don’t have the balls” to speak their mind when it comes to their feelings on the governance of the game.
Allen, 25, is due to face a disciplinary charge after launching a foul-mouthed tirade against World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn in the wake of his first round victory over Adrian Gunnell at the williamhill.com UK Championship on Monday.
The Northern Irishman, infuriated by the shortening of the format in snooker’s second biggest event, called on Hearn to resign and claimed the 63-year-old’s attitude was one of “**** the players”.
After easing into the quarter-finals last night with a 6-2 victory over Ali Carter, Allen was given another opportunity to address the media.
He initially entered the press conference with tape covering his mouth, prompting laughter from the assembled journalists, but it was not long before he was on the offensive once again.
“I’ve had lots of criticism over the years and I’m not going to change that now just because I’m outspoken and speak my mind. Other players just don’t have the balls to do it,” said Allen.
“I don’t think I said too much out of line. Obviously I swore, which is bang out of order and I apologise again for that, but I still stand by the rest of the things I said. I think there’s a lot of truth in the comments that I made.
“I don’t really mind. I’m here to play snooker at the end of the day. It’s nice to get a win and I don’t really care about the criticism.”
Carter also made news after the match as he took to twitter to apparently announce his retirement at the end of the season.
“I’m dead serious, life is to short to do something you don’t enjoy, 25 years is enough! Pastures new....” he wrote.
Next up for Allen is a clash with Marco Fu, who pulled off a shock 6-3 victory over world number one and bookmakers’ favourite Mark Selby in Wednesday evening’s other game.
Fu, the runner-up in this event three years ago, has slid down the rankings since defeating Allen to reach the final of the Masters in January.
“I think he (Allen) is looking for a bit of revenge so it’s going to be an interesting match,” said the Hong Kong cueman.
Pressed on his prospects of winning the tournament, Fu added: “I think anyone can win.
“Maybe to some people there are favourites and underdogs, but I think I’m capable of beating any of the players and there are 20 or 30 players in the same frame of mind as myself.
“It’s hard to call. Even the experts can’t have any real idea who is going to win. Hopefully it’s me.”