Trump: Fans don't make a difference, World Championship be in a car park

Judd Trump is happy to defend his World Snooker Championship in any venue and is not too bothered whether a crowd will be there to see him do it or not.

The world champion made a surprise exit from the Championship League on Wednesday, with defeat to Ryan Day and a draw with Dave Gilbert costing him a place in the final group.

The event is snooker’s first since the coronavirus hiatus and is being played at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes behind closed doors.

Next on Trump’s schedule is the Tour Championship, also in Milton Keynes, before the World Championship is due to be played at the Crucible in Sheffield from 31 July.

Having experienced the ‘new normal’ Trump is fine with it, happy to play to no audience and just wants to get the chance to defend his world title, wherever it is played.

‘I’d be happy to defend it in a car park somewhere,’ said the world number one. ‘I don’t really care. As long as it’s on, it doesn’t really matter where it is.

‘It’s the same for all the players, we’re just happy to be out there playing. It doesn’t really matter what’s going on, we’re just here in our little zone in this tournament and it’s just good for everyone involved.

‘There’s not a real difference playing with a crowd, it doesn’t make too much difference for anyone.

‘I think this could work for every tournament. Snooker doesn’t necessarily need to have a crowd in every single tournament and it works on TV, it looks good on TV.

‘You just don’t notice those kinds of things. The only way you do is if your concentration’s not great but when you’re in amongst the balls and potting balls, to be honest I just completely forget that there normally is a crowd there.’

Trump’s feelings are in stark contrast to world number seven Mark Allen, who feels the sport loses a lot of its appeal without fans in attendance.

‘It wouldn’t be nice walking into the Crucible if it was like this,’ Allen said in Milton Keynes.

‘There’s so much on the line and the crowd normally gets involved in the matches and it can get on top of you, and I think that’s part of the game that we will miss.’

The final group of the Championship League is played on Thursday, with Luca Brecel, Ryan Day, Stuart Bingham and Ben Woollaston battling it out for the title.

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