Three-time world champion Martin Adams has admitted that he would be interested in becoming chairman of the British Darts Organisation, as the pressure continues to mount on current incumbent Des Jacklin.
This year’s BDO World Championship took place at the Indigo at the O2 for the very first time and the tournament’s conclusion saw 57-year-old Wayne Warren become the oldest man to be crowned world champion, eclipsing Adams’ previous record.
The players performed admirably given the controversy and uncertainty that marred the event, after Jacklin revealed ahead of the flagship competition that prize money would be ‘reduced somewhat’ amid poor ticket sales and the failure to obtain a title sponsor.
Glen Durrant received £100,000 for winning his third straight world title last year and although initial reports indicated that the prize pot would be slashed by 50%, further reports midway through the tournament claimed that the men’s champion would walk away with just £23,000.
Moreover, Jacklin had vowed to increase the women’s prize fund to £20,000 ahead of the 2020 event, although Mikuru Suzuki will pocket £8,000 for retaining her title against Lisa Ashton, having scooped £12,000 for last year’s triumph.
Leading BDO stars including ex Premier League star Andy Hamilton and former World Master Adam Smith-Neale both admitted they were still unaware what prize money – if any, they would receive for their efforts in the capital and some have called for Adams to replace Jacklin at the helm.
The 63-year-old, who succumbed to two-time world champion Scott Waites in the first round at the Indigo, revealed that if he became chairman, his principal focus would be moving the World Championship back to Lakeside and holding the tournament in Easter – rather than January.
“If the BDO wanted me to do it, if the counties who vote in the chairman and the board wanted it, I’d probably give it a stab,” Adams told the Metro. “I’d probably give it more than a stab to be honest. I know what needs to be done. At the moment they [BDO bosses] are not getting it right.”
Adams also criticised the BDO’s decision to end their 33-year association with Lakeside Country Club. The iconic Surrey venue has held the BDO World Championship since 1986 and despite the positive appraisal on the new venue from several players, ‘Wolfie’ could not understand the decision.
Jacklin’s letter released to BDO players on December 30 claimed that just 15% of tickets had been sold and although the tournament was well attended on both weekends, the atmosphere during the midweek afternoon sessions was particularly subdued.
“I think it was the wrong move. I can’t understand it. But it’s not my decision. If I had the ability to drag it back there [Lakeside], I’d drag it back there now. The Lakeside is a special place for darts players and darts fans.”
Christmas and New Year is synonymous with darting drama, with the PDC World Championship beginning just weeks before the festivities and reaching it’s climax on New Year’s Day, before the BDO World Championships get underway just a matter of days later.
Adams believes dwindling attendances could be attributed to the fact that both events take place within such close proximity of each other and he believes the BDO would be best served holding their showpiece later in the season.
“I would sit down and have a chat with Barry Hearn [PDC Chairman], and say, ‘look, this is silly, this battle of the World Championships is silly. You’ve won, well done, we’ll move ours’. I think we’d both get good audiences. At this time of the year, there’s only so much money people have got to spend.
“What should the BDO do? Let’s not play it in January, Let’s move it further into the year. Maybe Easter will be a good time. There’s a bank holiday at Easter. Me personally, I’d go for that as our final weekend.”
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