BDO chairman Des Jacklin firmly believes that the organisation can rival the PDC in the coming years.
Jacklin made headlines when he allowed Lakeside competitors to attend Q-School and PDC Challenge Tour players to compete on the BDO circuit, bridging the gap between the two previously disparate organisations. Yet plans to merge the two couldn’t be further from his mind. In fact, he is determined to foster a genuine rivalry between the codes.
“There was a time that nobody wanted to know the PDC, it was only 20 years ago, and the BDO was everything,” Jacklin told the Metro.
“I don’t want that to happen again, I want us to have an equal footing, I want it to be 50% BDO and 50% PDC.
“That keeps you on your toes, that gets a rivalry going, and at the minute there is no rivalry, we’ve been grounded.”
There have been doubts about the BDO’s ability to grow for a number of years. It has led to dwindling attendances and difficulties attracting sponsors, venues or TV deals. Jacklin secured Eurosport and Quest as Lakeside broadcasts in a largely successful move. Now he is confident that the BDO is on the way up.
“We’ve not announced yet the venue for the World Championship, the World Masters, the World Darts Trophy. We’ve not announced the title sponsor for the World Masters and World Championship. And we have several, whereas we didn’t before.
“We have a clothing manufacturer, a company who have approached me and asked if they can sponsor the BDO. This isn’t just a one event issue; they want to sponsor the BDO. I don’t believe the BDO have ever had that.
“I believe in the next four to five weeks, the announcements will shock a lot of people.
“But people will not have to ask anymore what direction the BDO is going anymore.”
Author: Ed McCosh