Judd Trump reveals approach from rival tour and why he snubbed it

Judd Trump is not interested in any breakaway tour (Picture: Getty Images)

Judd Trump says he was approached about joining a rival snooker tour but dismissed the suggestion out of hand, happy where he is and focussed on more success.

Rumours of a breakaway tour have grown louder in recent weeks, with Mark Williams hinting he could be playing snooker away from the WST circuit and Barry Hearn directly addressing the speculation, but dismissing it as a threat.

Ronnie O’Sullivan will not be on any rival tour, but backed any players who feel their best opportunities are elsewhere.

Trump, who would certainly be a star attraction of any rival tour, is not interested, more than happy with the playing and earning opportunities he has at the moment.

‘I tried to keep myself away from that. I think a few people have tried to contact me and I just couldn’t be bothered,’ Trump said. ‘I’m very happy where I am, with the tournaments I play in. I need something with history, heritage and those kind of venues. I need something to play for. I don’t think I would really get out of bed for an exhibition series.

‘I want the biggest challenges and I look forward to hopefully playing in more different places. I’m just trying to win every single tournament and trying to get back to [world] number one.’

On where the approach came from, Trump said: ‘To be honest, I don’t know. I don’t even get that far. If anyone tries to contact me or my brother I just tell them to go away. I’m not interested one bit at this moment. I feel like now I’m in my prime…if I was at the end of my career maybe it would be different, but I don’t want to be wasting my prime away on exhibition games.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 - Day Eight

Trump is bidding for his second world title at the Crucible this year (Picture: Getty Images)

‘[The approach was] a few months ago, but they came to my brother, he asked if I wanted to listen and I said no, just go away. Everyone’s different but with my season I just want to win everything. I feel like with new tournaments being announced, more prize money, I’m happy travelling the circuit.’

The attraction of a rival tour is the reported guaranteed fee of around £300,000, regardless of any matches being won or not.

The 34-year-old has won over £700,000 in ranking events alone this season, but regardless of the amounts involved he says he would rather win money than be handed it.

‘For me it’s about the titles. At the end of the day everyone wants more money but this isn’t the right time for me,’ he said. ‘I’d be a lot happier winning my money rather than getting gifted it.

‘At this moment, with where I am in my career and how I’m playing and the success I’ve had over the last five or six years I feel I can really earn that money and feel a sense of achievement. I think that’s something my mum and dad would want as well. So I think my mum and dad would be more proud if I did it that way.

‘I don’t want to lose and feel nothing. I hate losing. I couldn’t imagine walking off and getting paid the same win or lose. It’s not the same for me. I’d love for World Snooker to big up the prize money and play for more in the future but I want to do it with something on the line.’

Clearly it is good news for World Snooker Tour that Trump and O’Sullivan are staying put and the Ace feels that the idea of a split in the sport is not too much of a concern.

‘I don’t think there’s any real worry, I don’t think there’s enough players or enough names that could do damage,’ he said. ‘I think Ronnie is the only one if he left, but to be honest I don’t think people are that bothered by anyone else.

‘I feel like what I’ve established in the game alongside Ronnie, if I’m staying here then the tour will be a strong place.’

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2024 - Day Five

Ronnie O’Sullivan has signed an ambassadorial deal with Saudi Arabia, committing him to WST events in the country (Picture: Getty Images)

Williams has been the player most openly flirting in public with a move away from the main tour, and while Trump cannot put himself in the 49-year-old’s position, he says he may live to regret the move and could not make the switch at all.

‘I think a lot of the things said have come from the older players. They’ve seen it, done it, it’s hard for me to judge, I’m not in their position, I haven’t won what they’ve won,’ said Trump.

‘Maybe from Mark Williams’ comments and the passion he showed in winning the Tour Championship. You could see how much it means to him and how much competing still means to him and just being able to beat Ronnie in that kind of competition means the world to him. You can see it now more than ever.

‘I think they certainly will [regret it]. But I’m not sure they will [leave]. A lot of people say stuff in the heat of the moment a lot of times, I’m not sure when they think about it at the end of the season, with new tournaments being announced, more prize money, I think it’s heat of the moment.’

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Tom Ford has not been approached to join a rival tour (Picture: Getty Images)

Trump beat Tom Ford 13-7 in the second round of the World Championship on Saturday, booking a quarter-final meeting with either Si Jiahui or Jak Jones.

World number 14 Ford was also asked if he has been approached by any rival tour but he says he has heard nothing and will be on the main tour next season.

‘I’ve not really heard anything about it,’ he said. ‘I must be the only top 16 player that doesn’t know anything about it. I’ll still be here.’


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