Ronnie O'Sullivan has proposed snooker's biggest names break away from World Snooker and set up 'Champions League' like events but would not include world championship finalist Ali Carter in such a set-up.
The world champion recently quit the main snooker tour after refusing to agree to a stringent player contract imposed by Barry Hearn's World Snooker organisation.
O'Sullivan - who won his fourth world title at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre last month - has complained about the impossibility of balancing family life with the need to travel extensively under Hearn's new regulations and is missing from this week's Wuxi Classic.
O'Sullivan told The Times that he is planning breakaway tournaments with the most popular players, as opposed to the top-ranked ones, and while doing so he had a dig at Carter – the man he beat at this year's World Championship final and also in the 2008 decider.
“Other players like John Higgins and Mark Williams may feel the same as me soon,” O'Sullivan told the paper.
"Get them with, maybe, Stephen Hendry, Ding Junhui, Neil Robertson and Judd Trump and you have a show. These are the players people want to see. The rest, like Ali Carter, are making up the numbers.
“I don’t see myself as in competition with World Snooker, they have big tournaments, but if I’m not in main events I need to do other stuff.”
World Snooker boss Hearn said in reply: "We won’t sanction anything counter-productive to us.”