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How Ronnie & Trump hold key with snooker to look very different in new season

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SNOOKER takes a big break now — but the sport may look very different when the 2024-25 season starts.

Kyren Wilson was a worthy Crucible champion, though this was not a vintage World Championship.

Judd Trump and Ronnie O'Sullivan are set to be key in a huge change to the snooker calendar

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Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan are set to be key in a huge change to the snooker calendarCredit: Alamy

It was a fascinating 17  days with lots of talk about future venues post-2027 — and the implications of a rival snooker tour.

Wilson’s camp, like that of other top stars, have been approached about appearing in a series of money-making exhibitions outside the World Snooker Tour calendar.

The Warrior said he would park it for now and then make a call in the summer after chatting over the figures with his family.

He had the chance to confirm he would defend his world crown next year but remained tight-lipped on Monday night.

Wilson, 32, said:  “Listen, the future can wait.  For me, I’d like to focus on history — and I’ve just become part of history.”

As the reigning world champion, Wilson has a strong bargaining power, especially if these new proposed events happen in the Far East.

Components of a new tour are being set up by a team in Shanghai, though investors there have yet to approach WST officials to present their own calendar.

Or even to explore a possible merger of the two schedules.

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You get the impression stars like Wilson want the freedom to play these lucrative exhibitions and also compete at the Worlds, UK Championship and Masters.

Following the Macau Five saga, when rebel players snubbed a ranking event to play an exhibition, WST are lifting restrictions within player contracts.

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This  potentially would allow the big names to take part in any breakaway circuit on TV, provided their appearances do not clash with existing WST tournaments.

But the calendar is so congested, there are only about 12 weeks or so free to stage these external events.

A new circuit would appeal to those coming to the end of their careers, or who are on the slide down the rankings.

There have been rumours that some players have signed non-disclosure agreements to signal their commitment to crossing over.

Yet Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump are both staying within the WST for now.

Can anything really work without those two names involved . . . ?

And are Chinese moneymen stuck in a snooker if the Rocket and Juddernaut refuse to break off for them next autumn?

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