Wayne Warren admits ‘it hurts’ that he does not know the prize money he will receive for winning the 2020 BDO World Championship.
The 57-year-old defeated his fellow countryman Jim Williams to be crowned the oldest world darts champion on Sunday, becoming the fourth Welshman behind Leighton Rees, Richie Burnett and Mark Webster to lift the iconic trophy.
‘The Yank’ was featuring in his fifth World Championship – 15 years since making his debut and he overcame Justin Thompson, former PDC World Championship finalist Andy Hamilton, Chris Landman, 2015 champion Scott Mitchell and second seed Williams en route to glory.
The entire field acquitted themselves superbly in challenging circumstances but the tournament was marred by controversy and uncertainty, with dwindling attendances and the inability to attract a title sponsor contributing to cuts in prize money.
BDO chairman Des Jacklin wrote to the players just days before the tournament got underway, informing them about a possible reduction in the prize fund, although Warren admits he’s still completely unclear about what he will receive for his exploits.
“I haven’t been told what I am getting yet. I have received no money at all, it will be up to my management team to negotiate or whatever,” he told BBC Wales. “There is a fund there, I have been told there is £150,000 in the pot to be divided up, but you hear so many different stories.
Previous winners of the BDO’s flagship competition have received £100,000 and reports suggested that the winner’s prize pot would be slashed to £50,000. Nevertheless, speculation emerged midway through the tournament suggesting that the figure could be as low as £23,000.
The tournament was held at Indigo, a venue with London’s O2 complex, after the BDO opted to curtail their 33-year association with Lakeside Country Club. However, just 15% of tickets were sold, which was attributed to ‘toxicity’ on social media by BDO chiefs.
Warren, a roofer by trade, conceded that the significant cut in prize money was demoralising and admitted he may be forced to feature heavily on the exhibition circuit in a bid to recoup some of the money he feels he’s owed.
“Obviously it hurts, the past winners have had £100,000 for winning, which is a big amount, plus what you can earn through exhibitions. Now I will have to play in more exhibitions to try and make some of that money back.”
Photo Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Images