O’Sullivan renews criticism of Crawley English Open venue

Ronnie O’Sullivan believes a “complete refurbishment” is required after renewing his criticism of the English Open venue.

The five-time world champion labelled the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley a “hellhole” last year and claimed he could smell urine in the player interview area.

And the 43-year-old felt there had been little improvement in the facilities after coming back from 2-0 and 3-2 down to beat Jamie O’Neill 4-3 in the first round on Monday.

“Every day in Crawley is a day lost in my life,” O’Sullivan joked to reporters in quotes reported by BBC Sport.

“It’s not changed as far as I’m concerned. You would have to change a lot in this place, a complete refurbishment probably. I’m not surprised, it’s what I expect it to be.

“I’ve just gone from a match table, to a squash court to a toilet, where the players’ office is, from the toilet to walk around the outside of the building through the heavy rain to come here and talk to you (the press).

“I’ll probably end up with a bit of pneumonia on top of the cold I’ve already got.”

Ronnie O’Sullivan
Ronnie O’Sullivan has been critical of the English Open venue before (Steven Paston/PA)

In response to O’Sullivan’s criticism, World Snooker issued a statement to the PA news agency which read: “After last year’s English Open in Crawley we gathered feedback from the players, fans and officials and the overall feedback was that it is an excellent venue.

“Based on this feedback we have made some changes to the layout this time in order to improve the experience for the players, including a new quiet lounge for the players and an improved practice facility.

“We are happy to be working with the K2 venue building the English Open into a great event. The atmosphere in the arena on the opening day on Monday was excellent and we look forward to more support from the people of Crawley throughout the week.”

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