Chris Mason sat down at the European Championship and took part in a feature length interview with LiveDarts mainly talking about the current state of the BDO after problems once again reared their head at the World Masters.
Mason admitted that he fears for their future and that from his perspective, other promoters wanting to run events at Lakeside could be the real nail in their coffin.
“I fear for their future, especially with what’s going on behind the scenes with independent promoters wanting to run events at Lakeside, that could be the nail in the coffin,” said Mason to LiveDarts.
“What they should have done is taken Barry [Hearn’s] offer and take on the ethos of becoming the amateur side of the sport.”
‘There’s no confidence’
‘Mace the Ace’ also summed up the recent World Masters saying that it’s not complicated to do the draw for the prestigious event as it’s the same format as years gone by and that the ticket sales are poor considering what they can draw for an exhibition.
He said that this is down to nothing else but confidence issues between fans and the BDO and with rumours swirling round that they didn’t have the O2 contract signed till recently; Mason said that it’s just very inept.
“I played in that event ten or fifteen times, you get there the day before or in the morning, you register your names, all the names that are registered go in the draw, it’s not complicated.
“If you’re not there, that’s your fault.
“There’s no confidence with the consumer with the BDO, which is why they can’t sell a ticket.
“Eighty tickets sold for three days of darts at one of the most famous venues in world darts at the Circus Tavern.
“I did an exhibition with Keith Deller and a few of the other lads and there was 550 people in there. What’s going on?
“There’s just no confidence in the brand so people aren’t going to buy a ticket – is it on or is it not?
“They announced The O2 but they didn’t have a deal signed, I wouldn’t but a ticket. It’s like buying a ticket for a fight if you don’t know it’s going to happen or not.
“It’s just inept, very simple, fundamental mistakes being made by those on the top table.
BDO running out of money?
Mason ended the interview by saying that they are hoping for a sponsor to come in for the O2 to cover the prize fund and that they are close to running out of money.
He added that it is a quick fix and that is to cancel other events and put all your eyes into one basket for the World Championship.
“My feelings go out to the players and us lot who were in that system years ago, although it was flawed, I don’t get this thing about ‘we owe them a favour’ – we made people a lot of money back then, we put bums on seats.
“I would guess they’re hoping they’re going to make enough money from ticket sales from The O2 and that a big sponsor will come in.
“I don’t believe they’re completely out of money yet but I know it’s close.
“For me, the World Masters should have been called off, World Trophy should have been called off, I know they’ve signed this three-year deal with Eurosport but I’m pretty sure if they’d have got hold of Eurosport and said ‘listen, this is what’s going on, we’re going to put all our eggs in one basket and really go for it with the Worlds’ and announced it a long time ago to give confidence in your brand and sell some tickets.Tags: Chris Mason
Author: Samuel Gill