Wayne Warren does not have much sympathy leftover for BDO’s current leadership and therefore does not believe in a future for the formerly powerful organisation.
He won the BDO World Championship back in January, but now 57-year-old Wayne Warren says he no longer believes in a future for BDO. Instead, he chooses to focus on WDF tournaments and a possible future in the PDC next year. Warren was speaking to journalist Phil Barrs
Warren won the BDO title on January 12, after defeating his compatriot Jim Williams in the final. However, the victory resulted far from the career boost that any previous world champion could have expected in advance.
Because after the victory Warren received only £23,000, a fraction of the previous year when Glen Durrant claimed the title. In fact, Warren’s prize money was the lowest cash prize awarded to a BDO World Champion since 1989.
Everyone dreams of becoming a world champion. I’ve been dreaming of that myself since I was a kid…..
– But getting what I got – it can’t be right, can it? It’s a nightmare, not a dream.
Wayne Warren’s frustrations stem, among other things, from the fact that players prior to the BDO World Cup had been informed that the prize money would be reduced – though not to the extent that it was. Warren seems to blame BDO chairman Des Jacklin for.
“The only thing Des has done just a little bit right was to move the World Championships to the O2.
But what he has done otherwise has not been good enough…..
“We knew full well that the prize money would not be £100,000 at all, but I had heard rumors that it would be £50,000 or £60,000. “So I couldn’t fathom it when I got an email saying it was reduced to 23,000 pounds. It’s a damn big reduction”
“The original premium would have been life-changing for someone my age. It is simply a joke. It’s a disaster, to be honest.
BDO is done. There will be no more BDO if you ask me.
“BDO no longer has my interest. I want to dedicate myself to WDF tournaments now, and then we take it one step at a time. But BDO is done for me….”
Although Warren turns 58 by June, he still has ambitions for a future in the PDC, to which he expects to attend Q-School until January.
” I expect to attend Q-School. I was originally signed up this year, but when I got that email from BDO, ……. so I didn’t have my head with me.
But I have the level of winning a Tour Card, Wayne Warren concludes.
A different form of this article was originally published, here.
Des Jacklin has returned to the hot seat of the BDO, little more than a month after deciding to stand down.
Jacklin was returned to the board during Sunday’s meeting after several representatives encouraged him both to stand and then to accept a position.
Most understood that Des would not be returned to the Chairman’s position although that seems to have been a premature assumption. Jacklin, who resigned on March 17, was thought to be vulnerable to difficulties, related to financial questions, at the forthcoming AGM.
In a reversal of such thought, 24 hours later, he has been confirmed as BDO Chairman once more after receiving a unanimous vote from the new group of board members.
It was noted that Jacklin’s impassioned support for the BICC structure had convinced a majority of representatives to support him, he certainly seems to be presenting a strong front.
“The past four weeks has given me the time to reflect on the events of the past 18 months and re-evaluate my position, thoughts and vision required to take the company forward.
On a personal level Jacklin seems keen to put the past behind him and get on with the task at hand:
“I also feel I’ve had chance to re-charge my batteries, so to speak.”
The new Board of Directors is made up of Jacklin (BDO Chairman), Peter Gilchrist (Vice-Chairman), Stephen Gittus (Financial Director), Bob Foster will act as Commercial Director, and Graham Manning representing players.
Jacklin highlighted many issues that he intends to tackle with fellow board members, these included recovery of funds from a hotel company and the dealing with social media and its impact on the BDO.
“We will be appointing a committee whose purpose is to monitor social media and more importantly where the BDO, its directors, county officials and players fit in.
“We will be taking a very hard stance on what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour and as soon as this is in place, all counties will be expected to adopt our new ruling.
“As soon as this is legally adopted, there will be a consequence to your actions both in the way of fines and exclusion.”
A full explanation of the current position, including the above quotes, was sent to the Counties yesterday in letter form.
Jacklin ended the letter by thanking those that had given him the “kick in the rear” he needed to accept the position and vowed: “together we will win.”
Darts Worldunderstands that the meeting on Sunday, and the discussions before and after it, have been very constructive and that a plan was in place that would enable the organisation to move forward legally and positively.
It is unclear how the events of the last 24hrs will affect these plans. It is our sincerest wish that all outstanding matters are concluded, in the best interest of darts and players, speedily in order that any new structure can hit the ground running as soon as life (post covid-19) returns to more normality.
After yesterday’s marathon meeting, remote obviously, the BDO seem to have opted for a “Back to the Future” approach. Des Jacklin has been reelected to the board, after resigning earlier this year, and several other directors have been chosen.
Despite the immense difficulties that seem to exist, in terms of establishing the viability of the constituent companies, it is reported that there was a strong collective will to resolve many of the outstanding issues, with particular regard to the BICC and ensuring its long term future.
Reaction on social media was much as could be expected with current and former players expressing their incredulity at Des’s return. Dave Whitcombe, with tongue planted firmly in cheek tweeted:
Fantastic news that Des is back.
The players must be overjoyed at this and looking to a great future within the BDO.
I’ll get me coat.
Dave Whitcombe via social media.
It may be that the BDO have managed, yet again, to snatch a defeat from the jaws of ‘victory’ with the decision for Des to return. Although credit must be given to Des’s passion, and ability to inspire loyalty, the vote was far from universally supported.
It is to be hoped that the work of many who have tried to salvage something from the current wreckage, including the excellent work done by Frank Branscombe, in trying to put a workable solution in place, and safeguard various areas for the future, are not to be in vain.
DW Editorial Team: Once again we wish all those involved every success in restoring the BDO to once again be able to promote our game and support those who love it.
John Fowler is one of the most likeable people in darts, His self made rise, from part time helper outer, to officiating at our biggest events is a tremendous story. Read his latest ‘Mic Drop’ column here:
Hello again readers:
Let me begin by apologising for the extended gap, between editions, I was so busy that I was unable to get anything on paper in quite some time. As I write this, it is with apprehension on what the future holds on a couple of fronts. Firstly, there was the uncertainty of what happens with the future of the BDO following the resignation of the Chairman, Des Jacklin, who in my humble opinion was on a hiding to nothing from the very beginning.
Secondly, we have this weekend, seen the temporary closure of pubs and clubs because of the Coronavirus outbreak. Many of us have already lost quite a few bookings, some can be rescheduled, others cannot and the ones that are will obviously take place on dates that could have been used for new events.
As a self employed man that relies on these events for my living, it is a harrowing time. Who knows how long it will go on for? Obviously the health of the population is far more important than little old me, but nevertheless it is quite depressing not knowing what will happen.
Whatever happens, in the coming weeks or months, can never take away the fantastic experiences, memories and journeys I have made in the last seven and a half years. During early February I enjoyed a nice relaxing weekend at TheDutch Open weekend, just watching. This year was the 10th anniversary of my only participation in the event as a player (yes I did, and still do, throw a dart or two) its enormous and the organisation is very impressive. Perhaps I shall return as player, MC or official?
At the end of February, I officiated at my first ever event on the island of Jersey. A first for me in respect of the format, 16 players who had never thrown a competitive dart before, they were given 8 weeks training by players from the Jersey Darts Organisation. They then played a tournament on stage in front of about 500 people, raising about £61,000 for charity. Naturally it was a little bit harder than reffing for the pros as I had no idea where the darts would land, but it was great fun nonetheless.
I have been provisionally booked to return for the 2021 hosting of an excellent edition to my roster, fingers crossed that we are back to normal by then.
Next month, it is unlikely that there will anything new to report on, so I will delve into my many memories and try to entertain you with some interesting stories. Stay safe in these uncertain times!
Many who know John or have got used to seeing his words over recent months will wish him all the best in what must be an uncertain time, as for many, perhaps if your are planning a non movable event for next year, birthday or similar, you could get in touch and book in one of the best MC’s around!
Personally, I look forward to his columns of memories as much, if not more, than his more up to date diary columns. Trust me, Jayeff has huge darting experience and is one of the funniest guys out there, also one of the nicest. DW look forward to see him back ‘On the Open Road’ very soon. – DW (Editor at Large)
This months Darts World Print Edition features an extended interview with Glen Durrant. After looking at Duzza’s remarkable 2019 season they settled down to a more general conversation covering career, game management, the relevance of age and much more (grab yours here:http://www.dartsworld.com/product/magazine/) here is part II:
In conversation Glen Durrant is a relaxed, jovial and measured person. We spoke a couple of days after his selection for the Premier League and he seemed delighted to have been chosen and looking forward to the challenge.
JR: Let’s start at the conclusion of your amazing year, how did you find out about getting into the Premier League and how do you feel about it.
GD: Delighted! It was a beautiful day! its superb to be in and, after my appearance last year, I am really looking forward to it. I really did not want to know in advance, I even told my manager not to tell me before the official announcement. I even took myself off to Catterick Races for the day as a distraction and a way of not getting too worried about it. Finally, he cracked and called me and I told him to tell me if he knew, then I just had to keep quiet for an hour or two.
JR: Congratulations again. I have followed your transition closely over the last couple of years and wondered, Did you have a blueprint or plan for how to approach the PDC system.
GD: I had contemplated switching before and had I not progressed at Lakeside I may well have done. Been the contract, with the BDO, insisted that £100k would have to be returned and I was in a very good place. Had circumstances not changed, at my age, I would have stayed in the BDO. But Des Jacklin changed the rules and allowed BDO players to make the attempt at Q School, and other events, without penalty and it seemed perfect for me.
JR: Q-School must have been very tough, especially after winning the World Crown and with little time between the two.
GD: It was the scrutiny level was very high, especially after the first couple of days, and that’s not really me. I am more of a backroom guy. I am looking forward to popping in this year and supporting Jim Williams.
JR: I recall Dean Winstanley saying that he returned the year after he gained a card to watch other sweat it out!
GD: I can reiterate that I think he might have had a point!
JR: You mentioned age earlier, what effect do you think age has on players in the modern game?
GD: There is a general fitness question, things like aches and pains that people suffer more of, you have to change your regime. No six-hour practices, like I used to! You must consider eye-sight. But there are plenty of a similar age.
JR: Many sports, including darts, seem to be expanding the age at which player can perform at the highest level. Phil Taylor was in his mid-fifties and still on top. Peter Wright has just won his world championship at 49/50.
GD: I am good friends with Peter he has given me good advice and I am delighted for him. I really hope your right, but I also wish I was twenty-odd!
JR: Its unusual, even unique for an elite darts player to have had a very successful long-term career in another industry. How has thirty plus years helped your darts, especially this year.
GD: The ethos of darts now being my job and treating it as one. Funnily enough Peter Wright gave me that advice as well. The work ethic, obviously and to appreciate the value of everything that is earned. It really values and attitude.
JR: I remember, the fine Yorkshire player, Chris Thompson had a career as a solicitor but I can’t recall many others.
GD: Ah ‘The Hitman’ I knew Chris well, fine player, better than me.
JR: Really, better than you?GD: Yeah, in the old days, back in the North, Chris was a great player, far better than me.
GD: The guys that still work fulltime amaze me, Darren Webster, for example. Hard physical graft all week they go and win professional dart matches. Now that’s tough.
JR: I notice that the PDC seem to have involved you, to a greater extent, in their marketing and public relations activities. Was that an additional strain or pressure.
GD: Not really, I have spent a long time managing one of the toughest estates in the north-east. I have dealt with speaking in public, the press and other organisations. I am familiar with marketing speak and the corporarte side of things, so it’s not such a chore. It’s certainly a lot better than working for 40-50 hours a week and I still make sure I get my time on the board.
I am a fairly boring guy and don’t really do razzmatazz so these sorts of things don’t have a great effect on me.
JR: Having bumped into you, on occasion over the last couple of years, you always seemed quite sombre during events, I wonder? Did you manage to enjoy the experience of the PDC?
GD: I try to treat it like a job, Peter’s advice again, I know that I have five years to achieve as much as I can. I have also learned that my best game is limited adrenalin. The best fun is success and achieving your ambitions.
JR: Low adrenalin?
GD: Staying calm and not getting too worked up or distracted.
JR: Remarkably, you changed darts mid-way through the season, to Target, and seemed to adjust instantly?
GD: Yeah, Target have been great, because I use a glorified Bristow barrel it’s not like reinventing the wheel. I really wanted a back-to basic dart. So, although I looked at all sorts of designs and colours, even an orange one, I really wanted a silver coloured dart with few alterations.
JR: Did you get a bit of time to get used to them?
GD: Yes one of the advantages of no longer working full time is that I have some time for that. There may be another edition of my dart along soon, perhaps a gen2?
GD: I have always fancied trying Std flights and seeing if they add anything.
JR: Funnily enough our resident coach thinks you might be suited to a small std, he goes on and on about it!
GD: You never know, I might get around to it.
JR: With the BDO Championships about to take place how do you feel about not being there and your decision to try the PDC.
GD: It will feel unusual but I wish everyone the very best, I love the BDO, and am grateful to it, it has allowed me to fulfill all my darting dreams and I will always be part of it. I am in a beautiful place, it’s been a fantastic year, I suppose I got to turn my hobby into my job and loved every minute of it.
I am looking forward to a nice break before hitting the board before the Premier League.
JR: Thank-you for your thoughts, speak again this time next year!
The excerpts above are from an extended conversion. We covered many different areas with Glen who was very generous with his time. He even called us back after his wife needed assistance in tracking down a receipt. No ‘big time’ in Glen’s house! JR Lott.
News reaches us that the BDO World Championship players are becoming evven more restless as the 28-day deadline has now passed for players receiving prize money from the 2020 World Championship.
The already much reduced, £23,000 for the men’s Champion and £10,000 for the Ladies, prize fund for the recent BDO World Professional Championship remains unpaid and players are expressing their understandable upset. Players have doubted that they will be paid since the event closed with Andy Hamilton saying he’s ‘leaning on the side it won’t’ in a later interview.
The usual deadline, for post tournament payment, as stated in the pre event contract expired on Sunday February the 9th.
‘Any prize money awarded to you at the World Professionals will be paid out by way of a BACS payment to your designated bank account within 28 days of the conclusion of the World Professional Championships.’
Ryan Hogarth reacted by stating he hadn’t received anything yet and that he is planning potential legal action tweeting ‘enough is enough’.
Breaking news! I’ve just checked my bank account and you’ll never guess…
Former World Master Adam Smith-Neale also commented, remarking that he’d phoned the BDO office, who replied that chairman Des Jacklin was behind the hold up.
The news follows the BDO releasing a statement last week repeating that their tour was continuing and that further meetings were scheduled to further develop the BDO side of the game.
dartsworld.com would like to think that this was merely an administrative delay and a mere glitch. Yet we would also like to believe that the moon is made of cheese!
Not the start Essex were hoping for going down 25-14 at the Blues Club. The Ladies ‘B’ started well enough with Tracey Newman (13.91) winning the opening set 3-2; however the lead was short-lived as Essex’s Ann Farmer, Sharon Wakeling and Lynn Kelly all lost out; prior to both Kelvedon’s Dawn Kennedy (15.29) and Springfield’s Leanne Peetoom (16.63) winning 3-1 to give the ladies a hard-earned draw.
The Men’s ‘B’ raced into a 4-1 lead with Rayleigh Rascal’s Michael Pinnington winning the opening set 4-3; Chelmsford’s Matthew Garrett (27.83) won the next set 4-0; before Lennie Holmes (Rayleigh Rascals) losing out 4-2. Next up was the first of two debutants, Clacton Railway’s Shaun Fox (32.30), won 4-1 with winning legs of 15, 16, 12 and 15; Shaun also winning the highest BICC ‘B’ average weekend award. Danny McIntyre (Kelvedon) checked out with 156 in the 4-leg to win 4-0; before Jakob Kelly (Brightlingsea) lost out 4-2. The second half did not go as well as Essex recorded only one victory; Brightlingsea’s Michael Hancocks and Alan Collins went down 4-3 and 4-0 respectively and Collier Row’s Joe Russel lost out 4-2. Chelmsford’s Craig Vickers (25.89) won the tenth set 4-1; but Kelvedon’s Steven Laybourn lost out 4-1 on his debut, and Chelmsford’s Simon Monk suffered defeat in the last set; therefore, the Men’s ‘B’ going down 7-5.
Going into Sunday 10-8 down, the Ladies ‘A’ started well going 3-1 up but ending up with a draw. Chelmsford’s Sue Baker (18.83) won the opening set 3-1; Pauline Donat (Chelmsford) lost out 3-0 before Kelvedon’s Stacey Ellis (19.84) lay claim to the match award with a 3-1 triumph, followed by a superb 3-2 victory from Colchester’s Karen Breen (18.52). The ladies lost the final two-sets from Wendy Collins (Chelmsford) and Donna Gleed (Springfield).
The Men’s ‘A’ pulled a set back with Cressing’s Steve Haggerty (30.10) winning the first set 4-2 and the man of the match award; Brightlingsea’s Wayne Bloomfield lost out 4-2 and Darren Peetoom (Collier Row) lost out 4-1, before Brentwood’s Steve Johnson (27.45) won 4-0 scoring a maximum and checking out on 121. Unfortunately, Essex lost the next five-set and the weekend with defeats for Brightlingsea’s Allan Mathieson and Tony Osborne; Kelvedon’s Phil Brewster, Collier Row’s Jamie Peetoom and Tilbury’s Wayne Gleed. Tilbury’s Richie Howson (27.08) won 4-0, however that was it as Southend’s John Costigan lost 4-0 and Canvey Starr’s Phil Halls lost out 4-2.
Vs. Lancashire (Chelmsford):
The Ladies ‘B’ got off to the worse possible start, losing the opening 3-sets with losses from Tracey Newman 3-0; Kerry Rudd (Braintree) 3-1 on her debut and Steph Hewson (Springfield) 3-2 on her return to the team. Lynn Kelly (14.99) got a-point on the board before Dawn Kennedy lost 3-1; Leanne Peetoom (18.83) lay claim to the match award with a 3-2 victory, therefore, the ladies losing 4-2. The Men’s ‘B’ fought well in a tough battle that would end in a 6-6 draw. Simon Monk was unlucky to lose the opening set 4-3; Wayne Gleed (27.08) and Allan Mathieson (29.47) both won 4-0 with Allan the man of the match. Lennie Holmes lost out 4-2 and Michael Pinnington lost out 4-1. Shaun Fox (25.88) won 4-2 which included a 170 checkout; Steve Laybourn lost out 4-0; then Craig Vickers (27.10) won 4-2. Essex lost the next 2-sets, Danny McIntyre losing 4-1 and Matt Garrett 4-2; before Alan Collins won 4-2 and Southend’s Ben Adams won 4-1 on his return after a 9-year break. Once again Essex went into Sunday 10-8 down and the Ladies ‘A’ started well with wins from Pauline Donat (20.04) and Stacey Ellis (18.35); Wendy Collins and Karen Breen lost out 3-1 and 3-0 respectively, before Sue Baker (22.79) secured a draw and the match award. Donna Gleed lost a close fought final set 3-2 after leading 2-0. The Men’s ‘A’ started with the manager Tony Osborne losing out 4-1 before putting together a run of five victories in the next 6-sets. Both Richie Howson (26.71) and Southend’s Paul Marsh (27.27) won 4-2; Jamie Peetoom lost a cracking match 4-3; followed by a 4-3 triumph from Phil Brewster against Essex old boy Steve Maish; then a man of the match performance from Phil Halls (27.74), winning 4-2, and then another brilliant game seeing Andrew Kateley come out a 4-3 winner. John Costigan had double trouble and lost out to Lancashire’s man of the match 4-1; Joe Russell promoted to the ‘A’ for the weekend run out a 4-0 victor. Another humdinger of a game saw Darren Peetoom loses out 4-1 before Steve Johnson (24.44) gave the ‘A’ team the much-deserved win; however, the weekend escaped us as Steve Haggerty suffered a 4-3 defeat in yet another superb match; therefore, an overall well-earned draw.
YOUTH COUNTY NEWS
Vs. Sussex (Witham) The Under 18’s was a player short and lost out 4-3; Jack Whitmore (15.82) won 3-0 and Joshua Henry (13.56) won 3-1; losing out was Freddie Francis 3-2, Cameron Byrne 3-0, Lauren Smith 3-1 and Shaun Hemsworth 3-2. The Under 21 Ladies won 2-1 with victories from Louise Mays (17.10) and Samantha Stock (15.80); Morgan Rumble losing out 3-0. A much-changed Under 21 Male team lost out 4-1 with Liam Willis (20.31) the only winner; other results was Nick Partis 0-3, Lewis Chapman 1-3, Hayden Acott 1-3 and Jakob Kelly 2-3. Next up is Kent away.
The Men’s super-league After 5 fixtures, Cressing have won all 5-games to top the ‘A’ league, with champions Brightlingsea, also unbeaten on 3-wins and 2-draws, in 2nd place but only a single point behind. Kelvedon are 3rd 8-points adrift, with Southend a further 3-points behind in 4th. The ‘B’ league is headed by Maldon who have a 7-point advantage over second-placed Cressing Templars and 10-points over Clacton Railway in 3rd spot. Darren Peetoom (Collier Row) sit’s on top of the Averages, Most Wins and Ton tables, with Steve Laybourn (Kelvedon) top of the Maximum’s table. In the ‘B’ league, Max Haley (Thorpe) is topping both the Averages and Tons, with Shaun Walsh (Laindon Q Ball) and Shaun Fox (Clacton Railway) heading the Most Wins and Maximums tables respectively; and the highest checkout to date is 170 from Richard Marshall (Halstead).
The best averages in recent games have come from Rhys Hayden (Cressing) winning 3-0 against Adam Gwilliams (Kelvedon) with a 33.40 average; Steve Haggerty (Cressing) winning 3-0 against Phil Halls (Canvey Starr) with a 33.40 average; Simon Monk (Chelmsford) winning 3-0 against Robert Vallance (Brentwood) with a 31.98 average; Max Haley (Thorpe) winning 3-0 against Andrew Bacon (Clacton Railway) with a 31.31 average; Craig Vickers winning 3-0 against Robbie Turner (Collier Row) with a 31.31 average; Steve Johnson (Brentwood) winning 3-1 against Brendan Spinner (Canvey Starr) with a 31.24 average; Ryan Harrington (Cressing) winning 3-1 against Michael Pinnington (Rayleigh Rascals) with a 31.14 average; Andrew Kateley (Chelmsford) winning 3-1 against John Costigan (Southend) with a 30.30 average; Darren Peetoom winning 3-0 against Michael McCombe (Tilbury) with a 30.06 average.
In the Fours Competition, Southend ‘A’ (Ben Adams, Paul Barham, John Costigan & Paul Marsh) beat Brentwood (Steve Johnson, Shaun Lovett, Mark Banham & Dave Ball) 2-0 in the final. The losing semi-finalists were Cressing ‘B’ (Rob Caton, Stewart Thorogood, Sam Lepley & Tim Franklin) and Collier Row (Darren Peetoom, Jamie Peetoom, Bradley Halls & Joe Russell). The Ladies super-league After 5 fixtures, Kelvedon have a 1-point lead over champions Chelmsford with Springfield a further point behind in 3rd spot. Josie Paterson (Chelmsford) tops the D/Averages with 4-wins and 21.52 average; Sharon Wakeling (Eastwood) tops the Most Wins table with 5 out of 5; Pauline Donat (Chelmsford) tops the Tons table with 28-tons; Tracey Newman (Kelvedon) heads the 180’s table with two; and Leanne Peetoom (Springfield) has the highest checkout to date with 114. Stacey Ellis & Lynn Kelly (Kelvedon) won the Julie Vickers Memorial Trophy with victory over Josie Paterson & Wendy Collins (Chelmsford) in the final.
AROUND THE LEAGUES
Ingatestone Summer: Chelmsford Social Club completed the league and cup double with an 8-4 victory in the Bentley Cup final against the King’s Arms. Winning the Champion of Champions competition was Steve Haggerty (Gardeners) who beat Andrew Kateley (Chelmsford SC) 3-0. In the Invitational Knockout competition, Senan Corry (Chelmsford) beat his fellow team-mate, Martin Saunders, 4-3 in a close-fought contest on presentation night. In the annual presentation night, Blind Pairs competition, Craig Vickers (Gardeners) & Ben Joyce (Rose & Crown) beat Matt Doe (Chelmsford SC) & Alan Green (Galley Enders) 3-1 in the final.
Brentwood Summer: Jamie Manchester (Harold Hill FC) won the Courage Cup with a 4-2 victory over Steve Johnson (Rising Sun) in the final at the Bentley Club; the losing semi-finalists were Dave McGuinness (Bardswell) and Mark Banham (Rising Sun). Finally, in the Bullseye Knockout competition at the summer presentation night, Steve Johnson got revenge over Jamie Manchester, winning 4-2 in the final.
A brand new World Darts Event is scheduled for Lakeside. Known as the ‘Home of World Darts‘, the first new-look Lakeside event is currently planned for Easter with tickets to go on sale by the end of November. Sources say that major new consortium seems to have joined forces with Bob Potter to bring these events to fruition.
Darts World notes some of the reactions to this news becoming public. It is not unusual for players and others involved to become instantly critical and a little tribal in response to any new initiative in our sport. However, our response, to the information we received from sources close to the matter, is that it is possible to see these events as a big boost to grassroots and mass participation darts.
“Lakeside and Bob Potter has been a friend and by far the biggest financial contributor to darts, outside the PDC, for 37 years and we are as passionate and committed to the game as anyone. In fact, the BDO was still in discussions with us to hold the World Championships at Lakeside until just before the new O2 venue was announced in early August.
This matches with our well-sourced information that it was not solely a Lakeside decision and that the BDO may have been looking for a new venue.
“However, our relationship started with Olly Croft and has always been a partnership of friends. The conversations with the new representatives from the BDO did not recognise this. So whilst still talking to the BDO we had also been working with others who had a broader vision, we had agreed to potentially sponsor and support a series of events to help everyone and try to remove the politics and entrenched positions we have seen hold back world darts for many years”.
Again this matches with the view that for too long the rival camps within darts have held back its development as a sport. It appears that new figures with determination and imaginative strategies have teamed up with an iconic venue to instigate something new.
“Following the O2 announcement we decided to hold fire on our support to see what happened with the BDO event. After 2 months with no confirmation, there was going to be an event and no tickets being put on sale we decided, with our new partners, to announce an event in January to ensure there would definitely be a Championship this Xmas.”
More evidence here of a sensible approach that may enable a new stream of darts opportunities for players and all others involved in the game.
“Now that the tickets have gone on sale and there is definitely going to be an event we do not wish to compete with or damage the BDO after 4 decades of being their biggest supporter. However, based on the feedback following our previous announcement and the exciting possibilities presented by our new partners we have decided to announce a new event next year which will hopefully be just the start of new broader support of Darts”.
“We and our partners are putting on a totally open and non-tribal event which will feature the top players from all bodies and codes worldwide (not including PDC tour cardholders) who will compete for over £200,000 in Prize money.”
It seems from this section that Lakeside and some forward-thinking folk are hoping to develop much more than a one-off event and may have long term goals of which this is merely the first stage.
“So we look forward to supporting a new exciting phase for darts, continuing to be its biggest partner and friend while remaining the Home of World Darts“.
Darts World suggests that all those who, like us, ‘Champion the Sport of Darts’ may wish to take a longer view and see this as possibly the start of something new and complementary to the current infrastructure of the game. Who knows perhaps it could, one day, bring them together.
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