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Storm coming up in billiards from Korea

Posted by on February 21, 2019

Storm coming up in billiards from Korea

© Kozoom International
The location in Seoul where the new professional league PBA was launched today

ANTALYA/SEOUL - The foreshadowing of a new league for professional players has caused major unrest in the billiard world. The 3-cushion sport, with its hundreds of thousands of players, is under threat of a power grab by an announced new circuit. This future cycle of events will take place in South Korea, but some European players led by Belgian Frédéric Caudron also want to join. The World governing body (UMB) and its member federations fear a situation will arise like the one in the eighties, with the BWA, (Billiards Worldcup Association), which was also a separate professional league. That escalated to a divide and the UMB suspended several players, including Raymond Ceulemans, the all-time champion. A similar discord is now on the horizon, this time originating from South Korea, where billiards has so many players and fans.

The new tour, called PBA (Professional Billiards Association) was launched this morning in Seoul in a room with 300 guests from the billiards industry and players. Top ranked players from Korea and other countries were missing. The president made a 15-minute presentation of the league plan for 5 years.

The schedule is:
2019-2020: 6-8 tournaments
2020-2021: 8-12 stops
2021-2022: 12-18 stops
2022-2023: 18-24 stops
2023-2024: 24-30 stops.

The first event will start in June 2019. The prize money for this year: first 3 stops 180,000 dollars, last 2 stops: 270,000 and 360,000. There are a total of 50 top world ranking players contacted and 15 of them expressed their intention to join the PBA Tour. The opposing parties in the conflict are the UMB, with its global membership and their media partner Kozoom on one side, and a group led by the sport agency Bravo&New and Kimchi Billiards on the other side. The latter plan a coup to start a professional league in Korea. The plans are in the making for this summer, to put players under contract and organize a series of events in Korea.

A number of European players have been approached by Frédéric Caudron and Eddy Leppens, who were openly discussing contracts with players during last week's World Cup in Antalya, Turkey.  Reportedly, among these players were Dick Jaspers, Eddy Merckx, Semih Sayginer, Murat Naci Coklu, Dani Sánchez and Nikos Polychronopoulos. The UMB, organizer of the World Cup series and World championships, is also sanctioning the new cycle of Survival Masters, the new Ceulemans Cup and major invitational events such as the LG U+ Cup and the McCreery tournament. The World Federation does not accept that players will join an outside circuit and announces strict measures and suspensions.

After weeks of rumors and unrest, the UMB and its partner Kozoom give their point of view about the conflict. Here are the comments of Mr. Farouk Barki (President of the UMB), Mrs. Diane Wild (President of the CEB), Mr. Herbert Thuer (Sports Director of the UMB) and Mr. Xavier Carrer (Founder and CEO of Kozoom Group):

UMB President Mr. Farouk Barki warned during the closing ceremony of the Antalya World Cup: "We will not hesitate to suspend players for extended periods if they participate in these unauthorized events.'' The reaction of officials about this scenario is unanimous. Diane Wild confirmed: "It is clear that the CEB will fully support the UMB. A UMB sanction will be automatically applied at CEB and national level.  Exactly as the opposite would also be the case, a player suspended by his federation would be de facto suspended by CEB and therefore by UMB.''

Mr. Farouk Barki: "It was our first task to warn players about the dangers of a transition. We don't accept, and I say we never will, that players will play for an organization in tournaments that are not sanctioned by the UMB. They need to know that we will take huge sanctions, and not only suspend players, but we will not allow them to come back for years. We know that they are misled with promises of big contracts, but without guarantees. That the new party, Bravo and Kimchi, has told the players that we cannot impose penalties. I want to warn them all that we really will. Playing for this other club of organizers, means that they will not be allowed anymore to play tournaments or competitions anywhere else, in any country.''

Mr. Farouk Barki and Mr. Herbert Thür

Mr. Barki's later comment: "while two private companies are trying to destroy our sport and what we built during last three years, UMB is working, and will keep working for the development of three cushion. Our negotiations with Eurosport last year came to an end. And finally, we will watch three cushion on Eurosport starting from March 2019. More good news will be announced during our press conference in Korea at the end of this month in cooperation with Korean federation, Kozoom and a prime Korean Sports Marketing company.''

Mr. Herbert Thuer, Sport Director of the UMB: "if players violate the rules of the UMB, then the UMB must act according to its own statutes. The consequence would be the suspension of these players for all UMB events which is bad for the players but also for the sport. As a UMB sports director, I would be very sad about this, especially as a return of these players in the UMB, is hard to imagine. It is annoying that the success of billiard sports under the umbrella of the UMB and its federations has created the conditions for a profit-oriented company to try "cherry picking" regardless of the overall sport.''

Mr. Farouk Barki: :Bravo&New is trying to reassure players by explaining that the UMB will not have the right to penalize them when they will play their tournaments. They even offered legal assistance to the players. Of course the UMB will apply sanctions and I'm curious to hear the arguments of their Korean lawyers coming to Lausanne court. We also have lawyers.''

Mss. Diane Wild attended the World Cup in Antalya and shared her feelings: "At a time when our sport is in full progress, thanks in particular to the efforts of UMB and Kozoom, it is very sad to split forces and create such a bad atmosphere. It should not be forgotten that it was also the images of Kozoom that boosted the popularity of European players in Korea.''

Mss Diane Wild: Very sad to split foreces and create such a bad atmosphere

Mr. Xavier Carrer: "The rumors coming from Korea about projects with professional tournaments have been around for almost three years but did not lead to anything. The only concrete developments with new tournaments, such as the LG U + Cup and the Survival Masters series, were organized under the guidance of the UMB. The rumors in these recent years came from different groups of people, mostly linked to companies from billiards industry who were connected to top players. This time, the project comes from the sport marketing agency Bravo&New, sub-company of the holding 'New', which has been very successful in movies and fiction content. Bravo&New was created less than 3 years ago but became recently share holder of the cable channel BilliardsTV and Kimchi Billiards, distributor of Longoni Cues and main sponsor of Frédéric Caudron.''

Xavier Carrer: "Most of the employees involved in Bravo&New are coming from a major Korean sports marketing agency named Galaxia SM, which is currently the agency of the Korean Billiards Federation. Kozoom also is finalizing an important deal with Galaxia SM to co-organize three of our Masters this year. Since last summer, the relationship between KBF and UMB is much better. That's why Kozoom is now working with the same marketing agency who will open doors of major sponsors outside billiards industry. Together with KBF and UMB, Kozoom takes part of a strong group. We want to avoid conflicts as we experienced last year.''

Mr. Xavier Carrer, Kozoom: Bravo&New together with Kimchi are trying to destroy what the UMB and Kozoom has built up the in the past three years

Can we say that global billiards is in the middle of a commercial competition between both sport agencies Bravo&New and Galaxia? To Xavier Carrer, it sounds more complicated: "Bravo&New has a very aggressive strategy to take over the billiards market. They don't care about the UMB and the consequences of their business outside Korea. Their Business Model is not only based on media market but also the equipment business. Why would they buy Kimchi Billiards if it's not to sell cues and tables?''

Bravo&New is launching a professional league named PBA (Professional Billiards Association) with a series of one-week tournaments, with a first stop scheduled in June. The prize money would be similar to what the players can earn in the Masters and LG U + Cup, but with many more players. Xavier Carrer: "their strategy is to organize these long tournaments to broadcast many matches on their TV channel and make the promotion of their tables, cues and accessories. Today, BilliardsTV must buy all UMB content to the main sports channel MBC Sports +, which is buying the exclusive rights in Korea to Kozoom International. That's why Bravo&New planned to not buy any more content from UMB events and to organize their own that they plan to resell to other channels and or sponsors."

Xavier Carrer: "It is clear that Bravo&New, together with Kimchi, have decided to destroy what UMB and Kozoom built up the past years to make billiards more professional. For that, they use Frédéric Caudron as their main ambassador to persuade top players to leave the UMB. Caudron spent most of his time between matches in Antalya World Cup to meet players and sell their project. Some players, sponsored by Kimchi and are quite low in the rankings, will be easy to convince, like Leppens, De Bruijn, Hofman... but it will be much more difficult to convince world-class players with world titles, because they will ask a lot more money with guaranteed payment.  Many of these players earn money now with a stable and reliable project under the umbrella of UMB. They are not dealing with rookies. Players know the risk is very high and they will be smart enough to protect their interests.''

Living in Korea half of the year, or even longer, is a big step for a non-Korean player. It would impact their careers but also their entire life. Farouk Barki: "Money won't be the only decision-making criteria but probably the main one. But I don't like the comparison with the BWA. At this period, the UMB was not offering any future to professional players. We have shown that it has been possible in recent years to create a real professional status for players in the UMB without causing problems for federations and clubs. We still have a lot of work to do, of course, but we are on the right track.  Most players have faith in us, because we have kept our words. It is a very painful thought that some of the top players would turn away from us now. Players are free to make their decision but they must know we have rules and we will not hesitate to apply them.''

The UMB board members and Kozoom partners when they signed a contract in 2017 to increase prize money in UMB events

Xavier Carrer: "Till now, some players have been excluded from the meetings and negotiations to enter the tour. Most of the Molinari players are not involved and Xavier Carrer has a very rude opinion about it: "I'm a bit disgusted by the way Bravo/Kimchi is acting, not inviting several top players to participate in their tournaments because they are sponsored by another brand. Can you believe that Torbjörn Blomdahl is not on their list to join their professional league? He is for sure one of the most famous players in Korea. A big value for any organizer. Not involving a big name because he is not sponsored by the right cue manufacturer, it's so stupid. Imagine,  you are a successful tennis equipment distributor and you decide to create new professional tournaments in your country, then you decide to exclude Roger Federer from the players list because he's not playing with the racket brand you are distributing... That would be a shame, or in the best case a bad joke. But I'm afraid Kimchi/Bravo is not joking. And I am very sad to see a great champion like Frederic Caudron supporting such a project.  Of course, I know money is on top of his priorities, but there should be some limits. Sport is also a matter of morality and values.''

Xavier Carrer: "of course, I'm not a kid anymore. I knew that creating value around 3-Cushion would bring competitors. Here we are and we are ready to fight to protect our investments and the future of 3-Cushion. I opened the doors several months ago to Bravo&New to try to find a solution together and avoid this conflict but it has never been their plan to collaborate with Kozoom and the UMB, despite the request of many players. I know they will not hesitate to lie to them and say they tried to work with us. I'm glad to see that Federations and most of the players are supporting us today. Bravo&New would make a big mistake if they believe they can take over the Billiards World that easy."

The president of Bravo&New: Mr. Sang-Jin Jang

How do the players comment on the current situation? The world champion Dick Jaspers was the first top player to openly declare that he will stay loyal to the UMB. The Dutchman will not respond to an offer from a new professional league in South Korea, that wants to organize competitions outside the world federation.

Dick Jaspers: "The freedom to play everywhere I want to play, is very important to me. And I feel good by the way I show my loyalty to the UMB. My feeling is that this is the right decision.''
Tayfun Tasdemir from Turkey, who won the World Cup in Antalya last week, said that he will wait on the development in the upcoming weeks. "There should be more and better financial opportunities for players all over the world. We all like to see a cooperation. I want to play for my flag in all championships and tournaments. But of course I am very interested in what happens around with companies and organizers trying to participate in billiards.''
Eddy Leppens from Belgium: "I don't belong to one of them, UMB or Kimchi or any other. I speak as a player and a billiard lover. Why can't they find a way to cooperate, why can't they speak to each other and organize a big, common competition for all of us. Why do they fight instead of work together? I should ask the UMB: isn't this what we all wanted for many years, a big sponsor for the world's billiard? I'm a player, I don't want this fight, I want us all together in a big billiards family.''
Nguyen Quoc Nguyen from Vietnam: "I was really surprised by all the news. For now, I cannot give my opinion, because I don't know the inside story. Who is right or wrong, who does many things for world billiards or for himself? We are interested, of course to make more money and we can make a better life.''

The world champion Dick Jaspers: I feel good to show my loyalty to the UMB 

 

Kimchi and Caudron have been rejecting my request for interviews for several months now.

Frits Bakker

 

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My Comments

Huicho22
Huicho22
Cooperation
The UMB is an organism that exists to promote, regulate, and oversee professional billiards in the world. Ovbiously there are, as with any other organization, problems that should and need to be resolved for the benefit of the sport, as well as that of the players.
However complicated the issues that separate the entities vying for the world's billiard market could be, it is imperative to recognize that neither the UMB nor any other organization in existance, or organizing have any worth or virtue without the players themselves. They need to come to the table and keeping tbat knowledge in mind, be ready to keep our sport advancing instead of devising ways to enrich themselves at the player's expense.
That after all is the greatest divide compelling new organizations to jump in the frey.
IT IS ABOUT THE PLAYERS AND THEIR FAMILIES not about maintining the monopoly.

Message 1/14 - Publish at February 21, 2019 6:16 PM

akaralias
akaralias
Cooperation? It is happening already...
With some other Korean companies and organizations. What I see here is a try for a major take over and bullying by big money without a single guaranty. Those companies they want to push their product and won't hesitate on anything. Now as a player a fan and a spectator I would love to be able to see them cooperate together but if I have to choose between money and billiards, I choose billiards. I will be sorry to see Frederic Coudron or anybody else lost from the World cups but I am sure I will survive.
Maybe Kozoom would make a Worldwide Survey and let the players know what their fans feel, about this.
I already lost some respect for some players. Not for their performance as players but as athletes and humans.

Publish at February 22, 2019 12:36 AM

Billardsportarena
Billardsportarena
What's going on here?
Unfortunately no nice words are used here. I do not think it is right to speak of "illegality" and "seizure of power". I do not know why such formulations are chosen and who started with it. It is not clear that someone who starts a league makes something illegal. Not even when these people are trying to turn to players to take part in their league. Of seizure of power can be no question. They just do something for billiards. That this does not suit the representatives of the UMB, I do not understand. They should welcome it, if someone does something for billiard sports.

Frederic Caudron and other top players should do what they think is good for themselves. To be concerned about criticizing the players is a waste of time. The Federations should not interfere in the private affairs of the players and concentrate on their own work. If they do it well, then they will have players, if not they will not exist anymore. They have to learn to accept it.

In addition, it is a proof of weakness and a bad character to make players bad, who find it more interesting to play in a different organization. In simple words: It is unsportsmanlike.

In my opinion, the associations, and not just in the billiard sport, do not go with the times and therefore have no chance to compete with private organizations in the future.

Message 2/14 - Publish at February 22, 2019 2:13 PM

inception
inception
What will possibly go on?
I mostly agree to what Mr.Billiardsportarena wrote today. Impressive view!
May I add one more own point?

What makes UMB and Kozoom think they can privatize all the players of national federations?
It looks like ' Whatever we do are always right but what the others do against us are wrong(illegal?)'.

As a fan, I want to see more fancy events than these disgusting conflict and malicious articles.

Threatening top players is the last thing to do by a world sport organization and its partner.
Rude and sickening ~~~

Message 3/14 - Publish at February 22, 2019 3:03 PM

Billardsportarena
Billardsportarena
Thanks
Thanks a lot dear Mr. Inception(???) for your statement.

My Name is Jimmy, I'm from Austria. "Billardsportarena" is the name of my Billiardcenter
What is your name?

Message 4/14 - Publish at February 22, 2019 3:07 PM

Déhème
Déhème
Pige pas tout moi !
Pige pas tout moi !!! On reproche à la Corée la création d'une ligue professionnelle et alors ? La France peut le faire aussi, c'est écrit dans les Status de la FFB (Article 1.3)

Si quelqu'un peut m'expliquer où est le problème ?

Message 5/14 - Publish at February 22, 2019 6:22 PM

Xavier
Xavier
We can live with it
Because I don’t like demagogic speech and I’m reading many naive comments. Let me clarify few things to the ones who are blaming the UMB for threatening players who would participate to a non sanctioned tournament in Korea.

FIRST: Instead of using the term « monopoly » or « abuse of power", people should be aware of the basis: the UMB is a non-for-profit organization recognized by the IOC as the Sport Governing Body of Carom billiards. Most of the incomes from media rights and sponsorship collected by the UMB the past 2 years have been reinvested in Prize Money and financial support to the organizers. The President of the UMB and the board members are not paid. Pretending that they are controling the sport for their own interest or profit. It's not only unfair, it's a pure allegation.

SECOND: They should understand that the rights of an International Federation to protect the interest of its affiliated associations, organizers and partners is usual. You need example about drastic sanctions used by International Federations? See below.

International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB): since 2009, all athletes that take part in unauthorized beach volleyball events will have their membership withdrawn for all FIVB competitions (period of ineligibility up to a life ban). Different sanctions apply to participation in volleyball competitions of non-FIVB recognized organizations (e.g. a fine on the club involved of CHF 30.000 and suspension of the club, teams, players, and officials involved for a period up to two years).

International Swimming Federation (FINA): any affiliated member having any kind of relationship with non-affiliated bodies shall be suspended for a minimum period of one year up to a maximum period of two years.

International Netball Federation (INF): any person participating in any capacity in an unsanctioned event is automatically ineligible to participate in INF events for a minimum of 12 months thereafter.

International Gymnastics Federation (FIG): gymnasts taking part in unsanctioned competitions or exhibitions may not claim to be eligible to participate in the Olympic Games.

International Cricket Council (ICC): other than in exceptional circumstances, a person participating in unofficial cricket events shall not be selected or permitted to participate in official events for a minimum of one year thereafter.

International Hockey Federation (FIH): any athlete or other individual participating in an unsanctioned event is automatically ineligible for one year to participate in any FIH event.

THIRD: The vision comes from the side of people who brought over 400 Hours of 3-Cushion last year on the main Sports Channel in Korea. It’s because this work has been well done that Billiards Industry, including Kimchi, made a profitable Business the past years. It’s because this work has been well done that new companies are coming up and are trying to make a coup with their league. Respect the work made by the UMB, respect their organizers and Kozoom and its private business angels who supported the promotion of the Sport as never before the last 2 years.

FOURTH: Of course, if I would be a player, I would love playing the maximum of tournaments with the maximum of prize money. But some of them are naive or hypocrite when they suggest both projects are matchable. The few players sponsored by Kimchi who are supporting this project know perfectly that the plan of Kimchi/Bravo is Kozoom going bankrupt. I can live with it. Nobody's perfect, especially when money is involved.

Message 6/14 - Publish at February 23, 2019 11:12 AM

Adib (DQ)
Adib (DQ)
Good Samaritan
"the UMB is a non-for-profit organization......."

At least you're funny my dear.

Publish at February 26, 2019 10:05 AM

really
really
PBA Tour in Korea
I read 'we can live with it' posted by Xavier (Kozoom president?). But....

Why professional PBA Tour organized in Korea should be sanctioned by UMB?

Why Kozoom boss write about the sanctions, suspensions, penalization of other International sports Federations here? Not by UMB official?

I heard Kozoom is more known as a major billiard product seller in Korea now than a internet based broadcaster.
If so, why Kozoom is blaming globally well-known Kimchi Billiards?
Jealousy? Competition? Obstacle?

Although the frustration is understandable, the comments do not look pretty at all to third parties.
Please stop and conduct gentle conversations among you folks and make carom more popular than now.
I do not know what UMB have done for carom last many decades.

Message 7/14 - Publish at February 23, 2019 6:50 PM

Donna
Donna
CONTROL FREAKS!
Active players should be the ones to regulate their sport, and not allow pompous officials to control their activities and/or affiliations. In reference to the specific case at hand here, if some players are willing to relocate to a very foreign country for economic reasons and to better their lives, nobody has the right to deny them that opportunity (least of all non-playing officials). At the same time there is no reason why they should not be free to take part in any other arena of the sport, while other players can freely join their regular circuit. We have a term for those kind of officials, and the term is extremely fitting: CONTROL FREAKS!

Publish at August 6, 2019 3:52 AM

Adib (DQ)
Adib (DQ)
One-sided
Frits wrote : "Kimchi and Caudron have been rejecting my request for interviews for several months now"

Perhaps they think that you're too one-sided, my dear Frits.

Message 8/14 - Publish at February 24, 2019 10:11 AM

Billardsportarena
Billardsportarena
Appeal to the common sense of UMB and KOZOOM
With sanctions and prohibitions you do not only damage the billiards sport and its image, but also your own organizations.

You want to have the top players at your events, or not? All the top players have done a great deal for billiards and for years traveled the world for little money and have enriched your tournaments. Is that your thanks for that?

In your own interest, it would be better to accept that there are other people in the world besides you who want to do something for billiards because they love billiards. Why do you assume that someone wants to destroy the building work of UMB and KOZOOM. That the billiard players understand this, there must be an explanation. I would also like a plausible explanation for that, because until now I can only recognize that someone wants to build something up for the billiardsports. That is their right and nobody should prevent it.
With the announced procedure you harm yourself the most. I appeal to your sense.

I also belong to the people who love billiard sports and I have been working hard with my little team for 10 years to lead our sport into a digital future. I and other private investors have already invested over one million Euros for this.
For years, I have been trying to work with the UMB and KOZOOM. So far, a video was produced with Frederic Caudron (2016) and it was a joint event in Korea in July 2018. Since then, I'm waiting for an answer to my questions on how to proceed. So I have not known for 7 months how the cooperation will continue. I do not think UMB and KOZOOM would accept that from a partner.

I have the feeling that the leadership of the UMB under Farouk believes that no one but himself can do something for the billiardsport. If UMB is not ready to change that way of thinking, it will lead to a dead end.

@Xavier:
Only to write: "I’m reading many naive comments", is to less. It must be explained.
There are examples where are federations existing without fights. To show bad examples is not productive.

Message 9/14 - Publish at February 24, 2019 2:32 PM - Edited at March 1, 2019 7:42 AM

Donna
Donna
Pompous officials?
Active players should be the ones to regulate their sport, and not allow pompous officials to control their activities and/or affiliations. In reference to the specific case at hand here, if some players are willing to relocate to a very foreign country for economic reasons and to better their lives, nobody has the right to deny them that opportunity (least of all non-playing officials). At the same time there is no reason why they should not be free to take part in any other arena of the sport, while other players can freely join their regular circuit. We have a term for those kind of officials, and the term is extremely fitting: CONTROL FREAKS!

Publish at August 6, 2019 3:49 AM

inception
inception
Dear Bilardsportarena, Adib and Really,
Your comments were persuasive and very reasonable.
I spoke with billiard players, fans and provincial federation officials in Korea to collect their fair and neutral opinions about this silly turmoil and here you are.
Most of them do not speak English well and UMB/Kozoom are very fortunate now.

Players can not say anything under this threatening circumstances by UMB (Xavier as a spokesman?).
But for sure, the players and fans cheerfully welcome the PBA Tour starting from Korea and become global tour in future.

Some veteran UMB high rankers may pledge their loyalty to UMB for the reasons easily guessed.
They do not worry about the future of carom as they never have been.
Have they worked for federations or contributed to the junior programs?
I can understand but the prize money into their pockets in the past and next years are only concerns.

All UMB and Kozoom want seem to have ultimate control over the carom sport by keeping a few dozens of top players.

As we see, Kozoom is a combination of billiard product merchant and UMB events broadcaster.
Mr.Billardsportarena had better reconsider this closed environment for future business decisions.
Jimmy,I may sound impolite but from my heart.

In Korea, carom has been on TV for a few decades before Kozoom appeared.
If UMB and Kozoom think they contributed to the current billiard in Korea, that is totally baloney.
Some, yes, because Kozoom has exclusive media right of UMB and Korean TV had to buy the videos from Kozoom and show on TV now and then.

What UMB and Kozoom is conducting now is enough to make real Korean carom people furious.
From my heart full of love for billiards!

Message 10/14 - Publish at February 24, 2019 4:10 PM

KORZI
KORZI
Money money money
He said "the UMB is a non-for-profit organization recognized by the IOC as the Sport Governing Body of Carom billiards"
How many Euros the ex president giving back after sale his house ? No one for sure other member of UMB know anything about the stolen money ...only the ex president ...
Some people their think that we are stupid ? How is the UMB cash right now ???

Message 11/14 - Publish at February 25, 2019 1:53 AM

berkayda
berkayda
Communication
Better make a deal with each other, lets say If Caudron and few good players (Sayginer, Sanchez, Mercx, Tran, Jae Cho)kicked out from UMB that many of the follower will have no interest on UMB events. These guys are main players that people love to watch and follow them.
I do not know anything well about details how the things going on this event and UMB, but i am sure this war can cause big damage to billiards.

Message 12/14 - Publish at February 25, 2019 5:20 PM

Xavier
Xavier
It’s not as simple as that
It sounds clear that some of you don’t understand well the situation.

The PBA plan is not to coexist with the UMB. They are doing their best to convince players that Kozoom will not renew its tv contract in Korea and they already approached MBC Sports+ to try to take over. Last year, 100% of the media rights of UMB events have been reinvested into the UMB to increase the prize money and support the organizers. It will be the same this year. No need to be very smart to understand that their strategy is to stop the professional development of UMB events. Of course, they can be « the nice guys » in one side by saying to the players « feel free to play with UMB » and on the other side, doing their best to make sure Kozoom will not be able to support financially the UMB events anymore.

But beside this commercial battle, it’s a matter of philosophy of development for our sport. We (Kozoom) do believe the sport must grow under the UMB umbrella, with a unique world ranking and a unique world champion. We don’t pretend being the owner of professional billiards. We care about the worldwide development of Billiards, not only in Korea. Private initiatives are welcome to make the sport more professional if it’s not to create their own ranking and world title... UMB events are very stable and players never earned so much prize money the past two years. Kozoom invested a lot for that with the support of business angels who are also billiards lovers. Hopefully, most of the players don’t forget it and they get used of korean rumours. To be convinced, they will need more than a single press conference and promises.

Believe it or not: Kozoom and Bravo had many meetings in 2017 to build a partnership and develop billiards together. But when came the time to support financially the UMB events (oct-dec 2017), we understood it was not their plan at all to make the UMB bigger but only to create value for their own league. Then to keep our promises to the players, Kozoom had to go on and decided to support alone the whole risk. I wish to everyone here the same faith and love for billiards than Kozoom has showned the past 20 years to promote our sport.

Message 13/14 - Publish at February 26, 2019 8:12 AM

tombooks
tombooks
salaries
I would like to see a list of salaries for all of the organizations : UMB, KOZOOM, PBA, KIMChI/BRAVO. And the BWA and the UMB were able to work out things for many years. Let's do it again for all the fans and players.

Message 14/14 - Publish at March 7, 2019 7:27 AM

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