The United Kingdom Darts Association took over the running of the county system after all former BDO counties were announced as joining their setup, which effectively brings down the curtain on 47 years of the BDO running county.
A new era has seemingly been ushered in at the grassroots level and Colin Savage, CEO of the UKDA spoke recently with Live Darts about the end of the BDO system including comments he made about it being a sad day for darts.
“On a personal level, it’s been pressurised at times. There have certainly been a lot of conversations with teams and counties and you can’t say it wasn’t a sad day for the game of darts. There has been a hell of a lot of history there, I’m not going to get into what has happened recently; it’s not my job to," he said to Live Darts.
“We have all dedicated time into the BDO system, we’ve all spent money travelling to tournaments. The main thing is that history will always be there but as with everything in life, sometimes there has to be something happen to it to move it forward and I believe that’s what we’re about.”
“We thought if we could get 30 over in the first year, we’d be doing really well. We are new, we haven’t done badly for a group of volunteers in the last few months. As each team moved and more and more declared for UKDA, there was always going to be a tipping point.”
For Savage, he admits that while due to split loyalties it will take people a while to trust them – they are looking to add to the county system with further developments including tournaments.
“Social media when used right can be a real positive and informative thing. We’ve got the support behind us, there is a wave of positivity at the minute – that will only carry us so far but we deliver everything in our proposal. You’re talking about expanded leagues, more prize money. The county system in Britain is unique and it offers such a conveyer belt,” he added.
“We have plans up our sleeves to bring a few new tournaments in, like an end of season county weekend. There are plans for that at the minute, it’s just modernising the system a bit.”
“We’re starting from the bottom, it’ll take a while for some to trust us. Some have trusted us straight away, some maybe have through no fault of their own, they were used to a certain system. They believed in that, all we can do is act as professionally, honest and be open about things. At times, we will make mistakes.”
The BDO have failed to make a statement as of yet and for Savage, he says he only had pleasant dealings with chairman, Des Jacklin since the announcement: “I have spoke to Des in the past week or so. I have actually found him really pleasant to deal with, it certainly wasn’t an easy conversation he had with me. It’s not my job to comment on why it didn’t work.”