O'Sullivan refuses to sign snooker contract

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has refused to sign the contract binding tour players as he backs up his promise to take a break from snooker.

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has refused to sign the contract binding tour players as he backs up his promise to take a break from snooker.

O'Sullivan said after winning his fourth Crucible title last month that he would "have four, five, six months off and assess the situation".

True to his word, he has not signed the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association agreement ahead of the entry deadline for the first two ranking events of the season.

O'Sullivan was critical of the demands of the contract in a statement released last night by his management company, Grove Leisure.

The statement read: "I have decided not to enter any tournaments for the time being, including this year's Premier League and forthcoming WPBSA ranking events.

"I have not signed the player's contract as I feel the contract is too onerous and am in a stage of my career where I don't wish to make this commitment.

"I still want to play snooker and visit those places around the world such as China where snooker is enthusiastically received and adored.

"I hope to remain involved in the sport in some way in the future."

He will miss one early trip to China, for the Wuxi Classic, as well as the subsequent Australian Goldfields Open.

He has also declined to enter the Premier League, but the development does not amount to the retirement he has often hinted at as he will have the opportunity to sign the contract at any time and compete in ranking events later in the season.

The next competition entry deadline arrives next month, with September's Shanghai Masters the next ranking event after Australia.

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