Bobby George has questioned recent goings-on in the BDO, and admits he is unclear on how the organisation will fare.
The weekend’s World Trophy in Blackburn went off without a hitch, allaying fears about its staging and TV coverage. But ‘uncertainty’ has been the watchword at the BDO ever since Des Jacklin took the reins. Among widespread changes was the announcement that the Lakeside would end its 33-year run as World Championship host. George, who played in world finals at the Lakeside and predecessor Jollees, is unsure about the move.
Speaking to Live Darts, George said: “I don’t know about the politics. But I think with Lakeside – why you got good crowds at Lakeside was the history of the game.
“People could stay there for a week, watch the darts, get closer to the players. They’ve moved now [to the O2 in London].
“I don’t know if they’ll get the crowds there. What was it, changes because of restlessness?
“I don’t know, to be honest with you. It’s a shame it’s gone from Lakeside because that’s the history of the game, you had Jollees and you had Lakeside.
“I can’t really slag them, because I don’t really know them. It could be good, it could be washout. We don’t know.”
The 73-year-old stood by the decision taken by MC Richard Ashdown and the BDO’s team of officials to leave the organisation, citing the lack of remuneration as a key factor in the mass exodus.
“Them callers, they call because they love the game.
“They get 15 pounds a day for their food. They don’t get paid – just 15 pounds a day.
“You’ve got give some of the gold. Them boys, they’ve learned to count, they’ve got the pressure on them.
“They can’t keep saying ‘there’s your accommodation – you can’t stay at the Lakeside by the way, you’ve got to stay at the bed and breakfast, or in a tent. Here’s 15 quid. That’s wrong,” George asserted.
He added: “Without the chalkers, without the callers, without the referees, you haven’t got the game.
“I don’t know how they’re going to get on.
“They might be alright. But it’s a shame that it’s gone that way.”
Author: Ed McCosh