Ronnie O’Sullivan has warned his son, Ronnie Jr, about pursuing a career in snooker during a frank and honest interview at the Scottish Open. The 46-year-old was in a philosophical mood after a resounding victory to reach the last 32 stage.
O’Sullivan blasted past Michael Georgio in just 37 minutes, claiming an emphatic 4-0 victory in the process.
In the previous round, he overcame Welsh player Dominic Dale 4-2 in Llandudno.
The six-time world champion was typically candid about his recent form and determination to win, claiming that taking part in the tournament is “like a holiday” for him.
And although his loyal fans are keen to see him lift more silverware, O’Sullivan had some concerning words for the future of the sport.
After he dismantled Georgiou, a discussion with Rachel Casey and Alan McManus touched on a point which ‘the Rocket’ clearly had plenty to talk about.
When asked if the UK gets enough support for young snooker players, he told Eurosport: “Obviously not.
“I think that’s down to the Snooker Association to make facilities available. That’s who should invest money in it.
“But I’ll be honest with you, if I had a son, I wouldn’t let him play snooker.
“Maybe it’s a good thing that there isn’t the option to play snooker over golf, football, tennis.
“I personally wouldn’t want my child to play snooker, I really wouldn’t. I’m an honest guy so I’ll give my honest opinion.
“Maybe in another 20 or 30 years, snooker might be back on top, but at the moment… I’d be like, ‘go and get a job mate’.
Indeed, those who make it to the last 64 stage of the Scottish open reportedly receive a prize pot of £3,000 which, when taking into account expenses, does not leave much left to make a living.
The winner of the whole tournament is believed to take home £70,000 which pales in comparison to top players in the world of football, tennis or golf.
O’Sullivan’s thoughts will come as a worry to those seeking to attract more young people to the sport, with the player’s words carrying serious clout among many.
However, the Englishman himself has cited two young stars who could have what it takes to stick around at the top in Kyren Wilson and Louis Heathcote.
“I just wish there was more players like me, John Higgins, Mark Williams, Stephen Maguire, Barry Hawkins that generation of players, I just wish there was an influx of those players coming in but I just don’t see it,” he added.