Mark Allen claims no snooker player wants to play in a waistcoat and bow tie as he urged the sport to catch up if it wanted a slice of the youth audience.
Professional snooker typically has a strict dress code – smart trousers and shoes, plus a long-sleeved shirt, waistcoat and bow tie – although it has been relaxed for some events, with the latter two items ditched for the Home Nations series.
World number one Judd Trump has previously suggested the sport is "stuck in a rut" and said one solution would be to allow players greater freedom in the clothing department.
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And Allen concurs, telling Andy Goldstein on Eurosport’s The Break podcast that snooker could follow a similar approach to golf.
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“Barry [Hearn, snooker chief] has done an unbelievable job. But trying to modernise it to bring in younger viewers is what’s needed,” he said.
“You look at every other sport. Young people look at TV and go ‘I want to have what they’re wearing’. And unfortunately snooker’s not like that. It could change definitely.
“You could have the three majors kept traditional and keep it the way it is. But the other tournaments… I think the Shootout is a great example, the players are just so much more relaxed and the standard of snooker when you are relaxed will go up.
“Polo T-shirts are probably more than enough. If people want to wear nice watches or have good tattoos on their arms, people can say ‘I’d love to have that’.
“At the minute, we’re just stifled in what we can do and I would be pretty confident in saying no one enjoys playing in a bow tie and a waistcoat.”
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The 2018 Masters champion booked his spot in the second round at the Crucible with a crushing 10-2 win over Lyu Haotian.
And while he is fully aware that his previous outings in Sheffield have been disappointing, Allen is convinced he can still win snooker’s top prize.
“The bottom line is you get one crack at this every year. And unfortunately I just haven’t been good enough. I know I’ve got the game to win here," he added.
“But the pressure comes with only getting one chance a year. The golfers only get one chance a year to win the Masters. And I’m not different coming to Sheffield every year.”
Listen to the full episode of The Break now for more from Mark’s chat with Andy Goldstein, including a promise to wear skinny jeans and Chelsea boots if he wins the World Championship… Catch up here or head to your favourite podcast platform now.
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