Dear Billiards Players, NGB’s, Regional Bodies and Officials,
It is with sadness and disappointment that I have to write to you regarding the current situation between World Billiards Ltd (WBL) and the IBSF.
As you will already be aware, the IBSF has recently withdrawn its support of WBL and declared that it will hold its own event at a date which clashes with WBL tournaments in New Zealand.
WBL WILL BE HOLDING, AS PREVIOUSLY ADVERTISED, OUR OFFICIAL BILLIARDS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AT THE NORTHERN SNOOKER CENTRE, LEEDS , IN OCTOBER.
I can tell you that a great deal of effort has been made to resolve this situation and in fact Chairman of our Governing Body, Jason Ferguson, has just returned from extended discussions with Barrie Jones in Australia. The result of these is that there is only one issue preventing the IBSF working with WBL and that is, “ IBSF will not work with WBL if Jim Leacy remains as a director”. However, despite numerous requests to IBSF board members, no one will formally clarify the issues.
Jim Leacy was a director on my board before he became president of IBSF. He was also involved with the running of EBOS, which predates WBL.
Following the IBSF elections Jim stood down as the IBSF representative at the following WBL board meeting as he was no longer on the board of IBSF . In light of Jim’s previous hard work, WBL asked him to remain as an independent director. It was also agreed that a further representative from IBSF would be requested to join WBL to ensure the billiards community continued working together. This was followed up by me as WBL Chairman in a written request to Capt. Mohan, and although this was refused, that offer remains in place today.
Billiards is not a strong business like snooker, it does not command global television and it needs all the support it can get. It certainly needs to pool its resources worldwide and this was the sole reason WPBSA in consultation with the IBSF and EBOS set up WBL in the first place.
At the point of starting this venture, entries in the WPBSA World Billiards Championship had fallen to 12 and the IBSF billiards championship was declining fast. With a team of extremely committed volunteers and a very limited budget, entries have soared, events and prize money are up and we again have a World Billiards Ranking list.
There is a massive contribution by people involved, and there is no doubt that this is a huge step in the right direction for this beautiful game, to which the international business of snooker owes so much.
With everyone’s support, with guidance and commitment from you, players, referees and officials, it can grow and I am sure we were not far away from the World Championship growing and travelling to new destinations.
WBL remains committed to working with National Governing Bodies to provide more playing opportunities for you the players.
The WPBSA remains committed to supporting this valuable part of our sport and the board of WBL have made it clear they wish to continue the work they have started.
I urge everyone to pull together before it is too late, this game cannot afford a divide.
World Billiards Chairman