The mass exit of BDO match officials was among the topics in a Paul Nicholson interview with Live Darts.

The player-cum-pundit was discussing a news story that, for many, is a sign of the BDO empire crumbling further. BDO chief Des Jacklin has contended with a struggle to find venues and sponsors, as well as another clutch of players jumping ship to the PDC. A new World Championship venue has been found, and both the World Trophy and World Masters will go ahead, but darts’ first governing body is in peril.

BDO fans were shocked by the exit of popular Master of Ceremonies Richard Ashdown. He was followed out the door by callers Nick Rolls, Antony Dundas, Marco Meijer and Charlie Corstorphine. Nicholson had the inside track on Ashdown’s departure, but the wholesale exodus did catch him unawares.

“I knew about Richard Ashdown leaving a little while ago, and I was told to keep schtum about that one,” revealed Nicholson.

“But obviously Nick, Antony and Charlie all leaving at the same time as well…I was flabbergasted by that – especially Charlie, because I know how much he’s adored working within the BDO system for the past three years.

“I really do rate Antony Dundas and Nick Rolls as referees. I think they’re fabulous, and they’re loved by the players. They’ve got a real kinship with the players, and that’s important.

“For them all to stand up and do the same thing – you’ve got to give them a lot of credit for being such friends and having that camaraderie.

“That’s a special, special thing. For them all to stand up – I applaud them.

“If they’re not being compensated for what they’re doing, it’s the right thing.”

Jacklin’s retort

BDO chairman Jacklin was subject to online consternation after posting a statement soon after the exits that failed to acknowledge the efforts of the departing MC and referees. Rumours also quickly abounded that well-known PDC figures would be among the influx of successors.

Nicholson had a bone to pick with Jacklin for what he felt were barbed comments.

“As far as what Des had said, there’s one thing in there that really perplexed me. That was the need to mention the PDC. It’s almost like he needs to get one over on the PDC for someone he doesn’t need to use. Why bring the PDC into something that’s clearly about the BDO?

“Fix the problem, and don’t piggyback on what other people have done in the past.

“You can do what you like, but just do it right.

“There are lots of players who are constantly waiting by their Twitter accounts, by their Facebook accounts.

“Just give them answers, that’s all they want.”

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Author: Ed McCosh