Ronnie O'Sullivan blasts England Open venue and claims it smells of urine 7 months ago

Ronnie O'Sullivan blasts England Open venue and claims it smells of urine

Five-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has said that the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley is a 'bit of a hellhole' after his opening round England Open win over Kurt Maflin on Monday.

The defending champion began his title defence with a convincing win over Maflin, wrapping up the 4-1 victory in just over an hour, but said after the match that the venue smelled of urine and had no atmosphere.

"It's such a bad venue, it demotivates you to want to play," O'Sullivan told the BBC after his win.

"This is about as bad as I've ever seen. It's a bit of a hellhole. I don't know what this gaff is but I've just done an interview and all I can smell is urine.

"It's just got no atmosphere in there. I'm practising and I've got wires all around the table. There's no security, you've got people running at you left, right and centre.

"It's not the fans' fault. They [World Snooker] obviously haven't got the budget to run it properly.

"I don't know where their budget is but they're cutting corners. I think they should invest in good venues. Players deserve better."

O'Sullivan also lashed out at World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn last year after receiving a letter from disciplinary chiefs for criticising a referee and photographer during the Masters.

"I phoned Barry up four weeks ago and I said, ‘Barry, I’m done with all you and your board of people’,” O’Sullivan said.

“And I’ve got a very good friend of mind who said, ‘Just let my lawyers deal with it’. I won’t get involved with it because I’m not being bullied, I’m not having people doing that to me ever again.

“I’m just fortunate I’ve got a very good friend who’s got very good lawyers and they’ve got my back. I just want to play and have fun.”

O’Sullivan added: “I like Barry, but I’m not being intimidated or bullied any more.”