2020 Championship League Snooker – Ronnie has withdrawn.

It’s just been announced by the commentators that Ronnie has withdrawn from the Championship League Snooker.

It’s a shame but not totally unexpected.

This is the announcement by WST:

Ronnie O’Sullivan has been replaced in Group 32 (Monday, Oct 5) by John Astley. As a result, Group 31 will now be played on Table One that day, with Group 32 now on Table Two.

Updated Schedule

More informations have now transpired about Ronnie’s reasons for withdrawing in an good article by Phil Haigh.

Here are the most important bits


The Rocket has changed his mind about playing in the event at the Marshall Arena as he doesn’t want to have to adhere to the regulations of the bubble environment at the tournament.

Players have been arriving the day before they play and they must be tested for Covid-19 before isolating in a hotel room as they await the result.

A statement from Matchroom multi-sport read: ‘Ronnie O’Sullivan has informed us that he wishes to withdraw from Championship League Snooker as he does not wish to enter the event bubble.’


It means his next involvement should be at the English Open, where he will play Brian Ochoiski on 12 October, again in Milton Keynes.


O’Sullivan played in the bubble environment in the edition of the Championship League in June and was not a fan of it, saying that if those protocols continue he would not play many events this season, as he had planned to do so.

My idea of going to a tournament is having comfortable surroundings. If I can’t control the controlables, the time between your matches and how you manage that, if that’s taken away from you, for me, that’s not how I live my life.

The six-time world champion also said he was made to feel vulnerable by two players – Gary Wilson and Daniel Wells – testing positive for Covid-19 at the recent European Masters.

No real surprise there, and I’m not at all confident that Ronnie will play at the English Open unless the protocol is different.


10 thoughts on “2020 Championship League Snooker – Ronnie has withdrawn.

  1. My feelings are that Ronnie is playing the “stalking horse” scenarios to others on the tour.
    His requirements are not really possible as he wants officialdom to jump through hoops of fire in his name. These hoops should consist of shapes and colours unseen by mere mortals.
    Perhaps if he left his PIN number at the hotel reception they could rinse his account clean and also his COVID-19 paranoia.
    Does money or a virus rule his life or does the wider world act like disenchanted wolves around his very being?

  2. Ronnie does not want to enter the bubble. OK, I let it pass now that he claimed to be paranoid about the virus, so I’d expect him to welcome the precautions, but he wants fresh air, fine. But how is this different from last week’s European Masters, where he went, or the English Open (I hope, he won’t pull out of that too!!!). Is there a different protocol? – Or is is just the excuse, bc he realized he does not care much about the CLS, it was a mistake to enter, not worth the effort, to go to the bubble for one day only. Because I’m afraid, this is the way it will be for awhile, so either he resigns himself to it, or won’t play at all.

    • Yes, I haven’t heard his reasons for withdrawing, but it may not actually have anything to do with Covid-19 safetly measures at all. This tournament has slumped a bit anyway. They even managed to schedule Ronnie for Monday, rather than a weekend, which was not exactly selling their product.

    • He had said when he played in the first CLS that he struggled with the bubble. So I think it’s at least true but maybe not not the full story. And i’s not the precautions the issue, it’s what comes with them . Being locked up in a room is one thing but not being able to open the window to have some fresh air makes it worse for instance. I can relate to that. I like some fresh air when I sleep, and I hate air condioning.

  3. Is it known, why? The surprising part was that he entered, but since he did, I was looking forward to seeing him. Hope, no adverse effect on the English Open.

  4. Not a surprise overall, but perhaps a little bit surprising that he still withdrew after they brought back testing.

  5. Apparently John Astley to replace him on Monday. I wonder if they called Lei Peifan?

    This tournament has been a pretty good success in keeping snooker going during gaps in the schedule, and providing some income for some players (whilst costing players who finished 4th). But it’s been a failure in sporting ways – the quality hasn’t been good and there are issues with the format. Ronnie’s withdrawal just puts a line under that. I don’t expect to see this type of ‘Championship League’ repeated next year.

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