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Eddy Merckx makes his choice: I'll stay with the UMB

Posted by on March 2, 2019

Eddy Merckx makes his choice: I'll stay with the UMB

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Eddy Merckx ,,I am a country boy, I like to be with my family, with my friends. I made my choice for that life.''

SEOUL - The Belgian, two-time world champion Eddy Merckx continues playing for the world federation UMB and has declined the offer he received from the new Korean professional organization PBA. He made clear his decision during the Survival 3C Masters that is being played in Seoul this weekend. Merckx reached the semi-finals in this tournament today, where the main prize is 50,000 dollars. Merckx's decision is remarkable, because he is one of the top players sponsored by Kimchi.

"I had to make a hard choice, because Kimchi is my sponsor'', Merckx commented after his match in the quarterfinals in the Survival. "I followed my heart with this decision, because I want to play billiards wherever I want, in clubs, in tournaments, in World Cups. I can't imagine that I would be suspended for my life. The offer they made to me was nice, but I told my sponsor, Mister Kim, that I can't live with it. This is a well-considered choice. I spoke about it with Brenda, my wife, with people in my area. I couldn't think that I should leave my country and live in Korea to play billiards there for a big part of the year. That is not worth it. My daughter said to me, "Daddy, please, you're not going to do this to us and to yourself".  These emotions have played a role. I am relieved to have made it clear. Kimchi asked some time for reflection whether they will continue to sponsor me. I hope so, because I had a wonderful time with them. But it is understandable that Kimchi is disappointed about my decision.

Eddy Merckx made the same choice as Dick Jaspers. The Korean adventure is not tempting enough to give up this life for it. It even looks like that many European players also want to stay with UMB. The offers are much less than told in the rumors. And moreover, the UMB, with its President Mr. Barki, has presented an attractive calendar for the coming years. Merckx, "I must say that the new guys did not require me to play all tournaments and therefore have to live all year in Korea. For example, They could write in my contract that I would play some of the tournaments, maybe 14 instead of 24 in a few years with so many events.''

He wishes to express his hope for new developments. Merckx, "I hear more and more sounds from players here in Seoul who will not go to the new league. And if there are no players, there will be no new league. And it should go another direction. I have seen that the new party has spoken to the UMB again today. That would, of course, be perfect, a collaboration between the two parties. The UMB maybe can allow four, five tournaments to be added in Korea. And that players can participate in it without suspensions. That would be a wonderful outcome.''

Most of all, Eddy Merckx will never say a word against his sponsor Kimchi, "They do the best they can to bring billiards to a higher level and to allow us to earn more money. That's why the choice was quite difficult for me. I have chosen nobody, and against no one. I just looked at myself. My heart would turn around from pain if I would be suspended for my life by the UMB to which I owe my career. I am a country boy, I like to be with my family, with my friends. I am happy when I can step into my car to play billiards somewhere. I made my choice for that life.''



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My Comments

Gentlemen's sport
Smart choice, Eddy. Wise decision. Friendly, Santos.

Message 1/3 - Publish at March 2, 2019 6:54 PM

Hard decision beneath gentle threat
It really is a pity a famous player ca not make his own decision freely and easily.

A hard and difficult decision (under such gentle warnings by UMB) by a player who will stay with UMB
is called 'smart and wise decision' by a person who seems a UMB guy.

I can understand Mr.Mercks. Good luck! See you on Eurosport-TV everyday soon!

As a weekend 0.4 average player, I only want to see more events by different players (not by less than by 20 something same players every time, boring! bored! sleepy!).

Maybe, it is real opportunity for PBA Tour to start with fresh players who are seeking real professional sports career. In the beginning, yes, there will be problems. But, do not worry at all !

It will be worth it than working for pension programs of limited veteran players whom we have seen too long since last century.

My personal opinion, neither for UMB not for PBA.
I am a believer of 'Anti-Trust' and 'Fair Trade Act' which will open the eyes of the embarrassed players.

Message 2/3 - Publish at March 3, 2019 2:24 PM

Real Gentlemen
We already knew how good you are at 3 cushion.
Now we learnt how good heart you have Mr Mercks...

Message 3/3 - Publish at March 3, 2019 5:22 PM

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