World Snooker Champion Mark Selby earned almost £1 million last season while the number of players earning at least £30,000 grew by 20 percent, as the sport continues to thrive.
Total prize money has grown from £3.5 million just seven years ago to last season’s £10 million, with another boost to £12 million in 2017-18.
A prize money list which includes sanctioned invitational events, high breaks and 147 prizes shows Selby setting a new record for the most earned by one player in a single season.
The World Champion’s total of £933,428 is a huge increase on his own figure of £510,909 with which he topped the same list in 2015-16, and Stuart Bingham’s £571,436 in 2014-15.
John Higgins sits second on the 2016-17 list with £654,425 followed by Ronnie O’Sullivan (£472,750), Judd Trump (£454,650) and Ding Junhui (£416,081). In the previous season, only two players earned over £400,000.
Total prize money topped £10 million for the first time in 2016-17 and this is demonstrated by increases in every section of the money list:
– The player in 16th place (Ryan Day) earned £162,990 compared to £147,083 in 2015-16 and £138,890 in 2014-15.
– The player in 32nd place (Dominic Dale) earned £68,625 compared to £64,367 in 2015-16 and £62,283 in 2014-15.
– The player in 48th place (Andrew Higginson) earned £47,925 compared to £44,400 in 2015-16 and £40,166 in 2014-15.
– The player in 64th place (Sam Baird) earned £36,500 compared to £26,875 in 2015-16 and £26,916 in 2014-15
– The number of players earning over £30,000 was 72 in 2016-17 compared to 60 in 2015-16 and 55 in 2014-15.
World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn said: “These figures show the extent to which our increases in overall prize money have affected players at all levels. The stars at the very top are now earning vast sums but there is also significant growth in the money available to players lower down the list.
“We are committed to growing our sport at all levels and this means offering more tournaments and more prize money to all tour players. In the 2017-18 season we will see a further increase in total prize money to £12 million, with higher earnings to be spread out across the tour. We have also scrapped entry fees for all tour players which will save each of them £4,000-£5,000 per season.
“At the top end we will see some huge first prizes this season, including a record £425,000 for the winner of the Betfred World Championship. But we recognise the importance of sharing our commercial success as a sport with players across the tour and all of them will benefit.
“The sky is the limit and we will continue to develop as a global sport” Hearn said.