World Snooker Tour
The WPBSA and World Snooker Tour
The WPBSA is a 26% stakeholder in World Snooker Tour (WST), which allows the WPBSA to generate income which can then be re-invested back into the WPBSA to drive the sport’s development.
WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson forms part of the board of WST, a role that enables him to manage the WPBSA’s investment in that company and to ensure the interests of the players and the sport are maintained. It also provides the opportunity for the WPBSA to work with governments, sports ministries and cities around the world which ultimately can lead to the growth of WST.
How do they differ?
The WPBSA is snooker’s world governing body, responsible for the governance and development of the sport globally. The organisation is not for profit, with revenue to be allocated for re-investment to drive the sport forward. It is managed in accordance with its constitution.
WST is a commercial events company, it holds the exclusive right granted from the WPBSA to own and operate WST. It has the freedom to drive profit from its activities which allows it enter into contracts with commercial partners, sell sponsorship and maximise the value of the sports television rights.
Matchroom Sport Ltd, a company owned by Barry Hearn owns 51% of World Snooker Ltd.
How does the WPBSA work with WST?
The WPBSA is at the forefront of snooker’s globalisation and so many new sports development opportunities come through it, including the introduction of new markets that WST can then capitalise on with the generation of new events.
In its role as the sport’s governing body, the WPBSA has overseen the creation of the Players Commission. Any issues raised by the players in respect of WST should be levied through the Commission and its player representatives.
Referees at professional events are employed by WST, but work under rules and guidelines laid down by the WPBSA, including the official rules.
The WPBSA retains responsibility for the WST ranking list and continues to be responsible for coaching and development, the equality and diversity of the sport and all grassroots initiatives.
Why is this separation important?
The separation of Governance and Commercial activities is vital to manage the sport professionally. It allows the commercial activities to move freely and efficiently and allows the governing body to concentrate on its development initiatives without the concerns of running a tour of events. It also gives protection to sponsors and partners against any potential political issues which can appear in sports bodies from time to time.
The WPBSA and WST are tied together through shareholding and contract and therefore work together in their prospective roles for the sport as a whole.