WORLD Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has vowed never to abandon his snooker revolution – insisting it is a job for life.

The 66-year-old promoter recently sold Leyton Orient after 20 years running the League One football club.

But Hearn, who bought snooker four years ago, has made it clear he will never do the same with the sport and is a long way off retirement and the beach.

And the game's supremo says that the World Championship is the only “untouchable” as he continually looks to shake things up.

Hearn, in China on Sunday hoping to tie up a new Shanghai Masters deal, said: “I will not sell snooker as I did with Leyton Orient, I am enjoying it hugely and there is so much to do.

“Football is a bit different, it is a business like no other, and a pain in the arse in many ways – you can’t ever win in the long term.

“Building a business like snooker, globally, is much more challenging and a long-term thing. That is going to be with the business for my lifetime and beyond, there is no question of that.

“The job is not even halfway done yet and I love what I am doing, so anyone thinking I will be sloping off to a beach and retirement will be disappointed.

“I don’t do beaches – and selling Leyton Orient has given me more time to devote to developing snooker and other things. It has been very productive.

“We have made changes already and generally it is never say never with me, you always have to be open to new ideas and be flexible in your approach.

“But things like the World Championship are as close to being untouchable as anything I know.

“That is because of the history that has been created over such a long period of time. It is such a unique event it would be foolish to touch and play around with.

“More generally you are led by other people – broadcasters, new fans demands, you have to be open-minded.

“And the main challenge for me now is changing attitudes and making people realise that snooker is now a global sport.

“That is the big push, bigger tournaments in new territories.”


Photograph by Monique Limbos