Snooker: Players 'unemployed for months' after coronavirus postponements

By Stephen CouseBBC Sport Scotland
Scott Donaldson
Scott Donaldson says the postponement of the World Snooker Championships is "gutting" but "necessary"

Snooker players will likely be "unemployed for four or five months" in the wake of the World Championship postponement, says world number 23 Scott Donaldson.

The coronavirus outbreak has postponed the final ranking event of the season.

Donaldson says it is likely to be "very uncertain" over the coming months.

"For those down the ranking list, they have families to feed - it is going to hit them," the Scot told BBC Scotland.

"I was guaranteed £10,000 just for participating in the event, it's a lot of money.

"Before that you had the China Open, which was cancelled as well, so the two biggest tournaments of the season are off the calendar now. All the snooker boys are unemployed now for about four or five months."

Organisers are hoping to reschedule the World Snooker Championship for July or August, having originally been planned to get underway 18 April.

Donaldson says disappointment at the postponement, after a season which saw him reach two quarter-finals in the Scottish Open and European Masters, but says it is a "necessary" step.

"It is gutting, because you put in a lot of practice for the whole season, and it builds up to that one event," he said.

"The whole world is in a surreal state, not just for snooker. It's massive for snooker, but for the bigger picture, it's very necessary I would say.

"I can't see snooker suffering massively, because [World Snooker Tour chairman] Barry Hearn has taken the game from dumps to a really worldwide sport again since he has come in. He'll make us get through it - even if there might be a few bumps along the way."