Ronnie O’Sullivan has launched a scathing attack on the state of the “disgusting” Alexandra Palace. The Rocket reached a 15th Masters snooker semi-final, and first in five years, as he saw off Barry Hawkins 6-3 in an error-strewn encounter.
And the world No.1 had a pop at the upkeep of the Grade-II listed building, which was opened in 1875 and also hosts the PDC World Darts Championship, Mosconi Cup and ping pong events.
O’Sullivan, who previously labelled the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley as a “hellhole” which “smells of urine” at the 2018 English Open, branded the iconic Ally Pally as “dirty” and “cold”.
And self-professed clean-freak O’Sullivan says he will cleanse himself with a trip to Champneys spa. O’Sullivan, who has a disciplinary rap hanging over his head for other issues, said: “I just don’t like this place to be honest with you, I just find it disgusting.
“Everywhere’s just dirty, it’s cold, I’m freezing. I have to sit here in my coat. Everywhere you go, you’re going through car parks, it’s bins. I don’t know if you’ve seen over there [media catering area] there’s leftover food and stuff and it makes me feel ill to be honest with you.
“I’m a bit of a clean freak. Coming here gives me the heebie jeebies and I can’t wait to get out of here to be honest. I’m sorry, that’s just how I feel.”
The World Snooker Tour said: “We work alongside Alexandra Palace to provide the best possible conditions for players on and off the table. All other players have spoken with unanimous positivity about the venue. Fans love coming here.
“This is underlined by record ticket sales and the fact that all standard admission seats sold out ahead of this year’s tournament.”
While an Alexandra Palace spokesperson added: “We love hosting the Masters and welcoming all the players and fans to the Palace. We work tirelessly to provide an arena and atmosphere that this great event deserves.
“We’ve been proud of the overwhelming positive feedback the venue has received in recent years, and it’s obviously disappointing that Ronnie feels differently. We hope we can change his mind and that he enjoys the rest of his tournament here.”