• GB Snooker boss Alan Roach ‘disappointed that Shaun didn’t choose players who are true UK amateurs’ • ‘All amateurs are paid 20% commission,’ adds Andrew and Shaun’s mother
British Snooker is having words with Shaun Murphy after the world champion made an incisive speech at a launch event for the new season, railing against amateurs who he believes should be be paid more.
Murphy told a crowd at last week’s Enfield Academy: “If I were to tell the world of snooker that amateurs should be paid more, they would roll their eyes and say, ‘Oh, it’s Shaun Murphy for crying out loud’.
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“I can afford to gamble my money [as a professional], so do all the amateurs, it is a matter of freedom of choice – that it’s actually money I make that is deciding my next trip to the snooker room.”
The 39-year-old, who plays at the main table in the Shanghai Masters in China later this month, remained unflinching in his beliefs when asked about the remarks on Sunday, but neither he nor his father-in-law Andrew and his mother Sharon had the chance to hear his full message.
“Shaun was at the school and then they decided Shaun had to go,” said Shaun’s agent, Darren Smith. “Shaun was going to speak to all the children and teachers there [at the school] but someone had to go. I’m not sure who the leaker was. Shaun probably wouldn’t mind the attention but not that he would feel too much pressure or give into it.
“Shaun is a realist and realises that politics are playing a part in snooker. If he had been involved in the event he would have said what he said about the amateurs not being paid enough.”
Murphy is a semi-professional player on the top ranking tour but splits his time playing regularly in UK tournaments.
Andrew said: “Shaun’s and my experience is that at least all amateurs are paid 20% commission. They only pay off the handbook [written by John Spencer] if it is to do with pay. Everyone else has their own contract with the organisers.
“We’re not professionals but we don’t need to be paid more, we just need to be treated the same as the rest of the league. Those players have to deal with travel expenses when travelling abroad and it’s not good they are being treated badly.”
A spokesperson for the Commonwealth Games silver medallist David Luckman confirmed: “Andrew is a genuine amateur playing through the end-of-season and the middle of the tour. He definitely pays his bills and, like all amateurs, is not a member of the ABA.”