Ronnie O’Sullivan was embroiled in a bizarre row over the cleanliness of the restaurant at the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley as he booked his place in the fourth round of the English Open.
O’Sullivan, who has maintained his criticism of the venue which he described as a “hell-hole” last year, posted a tweet on Thursday which purported to illustrate hygiene issues.
Beneath a picture appearing to show food waste beneath a table, O’Sullivan wrote: “The floor at K2 Crawley Restaurant not looking too clean”, adding the hashtags #hygiene and #healthandsafety.
However, O’Sullivan’s tweet was dismissed by both World Snooker and the leisure centre operators, Everyone Active, who insisted the photograph in question had been taken six months ago.
On the table, O’Sullivan shut out his frustrations with a comfortable 4-1 win over Hossein Vafaei to book himself a place in the last 16, for which he was due to return later on Thursday evening.
O’Sullivan, who also made headlines for claiming the K2 venue smelled of urine last year, had stepped up his criticism earlier this week by insisting the venue needed a “complete refurbishment”.
Ironically, that is precisely what Everyone Active insist has happened to the restaurant area since the photograph taken by O’Sullivan was allegedly taken – and they issued updated pictures to prove it.
Stuart Mills, the area contract manager for Everyone Active, told PA Media: “We can confirm that the picture Ronnie is referring to was taken over six months ago, and we have tweeted him back to reassure him that this is the case.
“Everyone Active has invested £75k into the cafe facilities at K2 and a refurbishment of the restaurant area took place in April 2019.”
We've spoken to the venue. That picture isn't current as the restaurant area was refurbished six months ago, that furniture isn't here any more. And the floors today are spotless! https://t.co/4kEB4FD00F
— World Snooker (@WorldSnooker) October 17, 2019
Clearly tiring of O’Sullivan’s disquiet over the venue, World Snooker also swiftly reacted, echoing the venue spokesman by insisting that [O’Sullivan’s] picture isn’t current.”
O’Sullivan was not required to find top gear against Vafaei, who took the first frame of the match but missed a succession of chances and allowed the five-time world champion to coast to victory.
After the match O’Sullivan, who had also said earlier this week that “every day in Crawley is a day lost in my life”, did not expand on his criticisms but implied once again that he would rather be elsewhere.
Speaking to Eurosport, with whom he also has a role as a pundit, O’Sullivan said: “If I wasn’t punditing [sic] here I probably wouldn’t have come.
“It’s like a bit of practice. In some ways I’m getting punished for winning because I can’t do the punditry.”