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Mike Russell, banned from entering events.

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  • Mike Russell, banned from entering events.

    WBL, the self elected group who are running billiards on behalf of the WPBSA have chosen to effectively ban the greatest player of the last 80+ years. Yes he has behaved badly in the past but no worse that many other top sports people have. The thought of trying to help Russell has never been on the agenda of a governing body that in my opinion and experience is like a secret society and is unsympathetic to the needs of players. Although run by people who know little about the game they have done some good but have let themselves down badly in this instance. The true billiard lovers are now deprived of the chance of seeing the unique skill of Russell.

  • #2
    so verbally and racially abusing two youngsters from the far East (IIRC)
    physically and verbally abusing event organisers
    and many instances of drunken, abusive behaviour to many others
    is not enough to be banned?

    promising to not do it again many times and not keeping that promise many time...

    From what I have read over the many months is that the WBL have tried not to ban him but he is his own worse enemy. He has a problem that he needs to get help for, I hope he does and he makes a good recovery.
    Up the TSF!

    Comment


    • #3
      Copied from the English Billiard Forum.

      Most of you will be aware that back in February 2020 Mike Russell was informed by WBL that they would no longer accept his entry into WBL events. Later, following a letter to Jason Ferguson, chairman of WPBSA, Mike was notified that his situation would be reviewed by WBL in February 2021 when he would be given the opportunity to make a representation. This notification was also announced on the WPBSA website by way of a statement.

      What most of you may not know is that following that review, in which Mike chose to leave the matter to WBL without making any representation, he was informed that his situation would be further reviewed in February 2022. This decision has the effect of preventing him from entering any WBL tournaments for a further year. This action extends the sanction to a period of two years without any knowledge of when it might might end.

      Mike has made a sincere public apology as requested by WBL and since the introduction of the action taken against him during February 2020, he has been at pains not to post anything on any of the billiards forums or any other social media platform. He is at a complete loss as to why the decision to extend the restriction against him has been made.

      There has been no public statement issued by either WPBSA or WBL on the decision to extend their restriction or their reason for doing so.

      The WPBSA disciplinary code makes no mention of differences between billiards players and snooker players. They are all treated the same. There are numerous cases when snooker players have appeared before the WPBSA disciplinary panel to answer cases equally as serious, and in some, even more so than those levelled at Mike Russell. Mentioning no names, these are just some of the examples where players have been found guilty of breaches of the WPBSA disciplinary code. Involved in offering to fix matches in Russia, gambling on the outcome of matches, threatening violent behaviour, making rude and offensive gestures on live TV in China, withdrawing midway through a tournament without reasonable reason, drug abuse, breaching rules governing the use of social media. The list goes on.

      Even in cases where snooker players have breached the rules on social media guilty snooker players haven't suffered as harshly as Mike Russell. Suspension from competing in one, or at most, two events would seem to be the norm.

      It’s clear that Mike is being treated differently to the likes of the top snooker players, he is arguably the best billiards player of all time. WBL have numerous videos of his play currently available on their website. Even some of those passing judgement on him regularly refer to his unique skill and play. In the last world championships in Australia it was his matches that were amongst the most viewed. He was a feature in the event programme. Eighteen world championships is an incredible achievement.

      None of this should excuse him of punishment where deserved but surely that punishment should show some consistency and be in line with that handed down to snooker players

      All this begs the question of what is happening with WBL, why are they seemingly determined to prevent such a great player from playing out the end of his remarkable career? Mike fully understands his wrongdoings, he has apologised for his past behaviour. He can do no more.

      Mike has expressed his desire to continue playing. He is in the process of planning a change that will allow him more time to practice and prepare for matches properly. Rather than turn up for events with only a few hours preparation behind him. In recent times he has found himself relying on the early rounds of an event to provide him with some of the valuable match conditioning needed. This change will also afford him the opportunity to enter more events, should WBL allow.

      Mike has acknowledged where his behaviour has fallen below that of a player in his position. He understands the consequences should there be further issues with his behaviour. So come on WBL, you've made your point. Now is the time to draw a line under this episode. The game needs all the players it can attract including perhaps the greatest of all time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Good riddance. Should have had a lifetime ban without all this yearly review nonsense.

        Comment


        • #5
          Unfortunately there has never been consistency in snooker regarding bans ,Stephen Lee got effectively a life ban over something never 100% proven ,Jamie Jones got 12 months for doing nothing really wrong ,only not bringing forward information .John Higgins and Bingham get away with blatant match fixing ,Well at least Bingham did Higgins was on camera talking match fixing ,wether he had or was going ahead with it is not relevant but he too failed to bring the info to the governing body ,couple of months ban and a slap on the wrist .If your top 16 and a World champion I suppose it’s ok .It’s not that I want players banned for life or silly few month bans in the off season ,but consistency across the board is needed ,not just who you are what you have won .

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mikee View Post
            Unfortunately there has never been consistency in snooker regarding bans ,Stephen Lee got effectively a life ban over something never 100% proven ,Jamie Jones got 12 months for doing nothing really wrong ,only not bringing forward information .John Higgins and Bingham get away with blatant match fixing ,Well at least Bingham did Higgins was on camera talking match fixing ,wether he had or was going ahead with it is not relevant but he too failed to bring the info to the governing body ,couple of months ban and a slap on the wrist .If your top 16 and a World champion I suppose it’s ok .It’s not that I want players banned for life or silly few month bans in the off season ,but consistency across the board is needed ,not just who you are what you have won .
            There was no accusation of match fixing in Bingham's case. He got a ban for betting on snooker, but there was never any suggestion that he influenced the result of any match.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Odrl View Post

              There was no accusation of match fixing in Bingham's case. He got a ban for betting on snooker, but there was never any suggestion that he influenced the result of any match.
              That’s true ,but he did bet on himself not getting the highest break ,and that paid out 7 out of 7 times .My point being that maybe everyone should have had something like.an 18th month or 2 year ban ,that would be enough for a first offence ,it’s the consistency that stinks

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mikee View Post

                That’s true ,but he did bet on himself not getting the highest break ,and that paid out 7 out of 7 times .
                This is where online gambling companies have gotten a bit silly and therefore leave themselves open to abuse. Hey! but they're rolling in it, so they rake in many thousands in lost bets for every one that pays out a few hundred due to any deliberate action from a player in any sport.
                I frankly don't care about things like that, looking at bet365 and what ceo Denise Coates earned in salary and bonuses last year, four hundred and twenty odd million pounds anyone who takes them on and wins is OK by me. Of course she works very hard but think of all the politicians she can buy with funds like that.
                Speak up, you've got to speak up against the madness, you've got speak your mind if you dare
                but don't try to get yourself elected, for if you do you'll have to cut your hair

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