Previously, we got an idea of how much snooker players could potentially earn by looking at the prize winnings of all the ranking events in the season. Click here to read that Short. However, all these monies don’t go directly into a snooker player’s bank account as they do have to account for the expenses they incur for participating in these events.
The main costs that are undertaken by snooker players involve travel, accommodation and entry fees. Neil Robertson stated in an interview a couple years ago that tournament entry fees amount to between £4000-4500 a year alone. For players starting out or those working part-time alongside playing snooker, this is a significant cost especially if they don’t earn much in the form of tournament winnings.
Travel and accommodation costs can be upwards of £10,000. This is a fairly conservative estimate considering how many tournaments there are nowadays and the distances players have to travel to compete. Although snooker isn’t as popular as other sports, it is still recognised and played all over the world. Particularly, events held in China and India pose the largest expense to a sport which has most of its player residing in the UK and Europe.
This doesn’t take into account sponsorship’s which can definitely help with alleviating the costs of travel for a snooker player. With the backing of a professional sponsor, they can often cover the costs of travel and accommodation for a player. But the problem are for those players struggling to get in the spotlight enough to earn sponsorship backing.
If we assume rough expenses to be between £15,000-20,000 and look at the 1 year ranking list then it seems that those outside the Top 64 would be earning roughly the equivalent of a university graduate’s salary. And when a significant amount of these players will have families to support, are the expenses incurred for being a pro snooker player too high? Should some kind of subsidised element be involved?