Elliot Slessor has publicly backed Ronnie O'Sullivan by urging snooker chiefs to pay player expenses or cut back the size of the sport's professional tour.
"30% of the tour can’t afford a loaf of bread. Either give players expenses or cut the tour and guarantee everybody dough imo," said the world number 43 in a damning statement on Twitter about the state of the game at the lower reaches of the World Snooker Tour rankings.
The Gateshead professional – who has earned £23,000 so far this season and is 33rd on the one-year list – agrees with the six-times world champion O'Sullivan, who feels snooker has fallen behind golf and tennis in terms of how much money players earn to make a living.
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"You would actually see a higher standard again from the lads further down as won’t be drowning in financial pressure," commented 27-year-old Slessor, who impressively holds a 2-1 lead over O'Sullivan in their career head-to-heads.
"Everybody I’ve spoke to agrees with it. Everybody gets what nobody seems to want."
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Slessor reached the semi-finals of the British Open in August where he lost 4-3 to close friend Gary Wilson, but has won only one other match this season with a 4-3 victory over Ross Muir at the Northern Ireland Open before suffering a 4-3 defeat to Mark Williams in the last 64.
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Slessor is one of several players to have suffered financially damaging defeats in failing to qualify for the English Open, Scottish Open, UK Championship, German Masters and European Masters, earning no prize money or expenses for his efforts on the WST.
O'Sullivan feels the current set-up is unsustainable.
Following his quickfire 4-0 win over former Shoot Out winner Michael Georgiou in only 45 minutes in the second round of the Scottish Open on Tuesday evening, O'Sullivan said: "I'm talking about the guys that are ranked 60, 70 in the world that are struggling.
It's not good for them. If you compared the 125th golfer and what he earns and the 125th snooker player then he'd make a million dollars on the golf tour.
"You can afford to miss a few cuts because you can make enough money to offset the losses you might make."
Englishman and former Masters champion Danny Willett is 124th on the US PGA Tour money list at the moment in golf earning £97,873.80 ($129,617) from five events so far.
The equivalent position in snooker has seen several players pick only £1,000 on the one-year list.
Georgiou at least did collect £3,000 for losing in the second round after a 4-0 victory over Farakh Ajaib in qualifying for the Scottish Open.
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"One way you could maybe remedy it is at least give the first-round losers their expenses," said O'Sullivan.
A lot of these guys have not got the money: they come and get beat like Michael Georgiou. He has been pumped twice now. He's lost to me twice now 4-0, 4-0 and he has to pay his own expenses and it has cost him £300-£400. It's unfair.
"Take it off the top. Winners don't really need that extra money, give it to the first round losers so at least it doesn't cost them anything. Then you can call it a job."
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