Peter Manley, a master of the dark arts himself, has had his say on gamesmanship.

The PDC has seen a sharp increase in needle in recent times. Gerwyn Price, Daryl Gurney and James Wade are three names involved in high-profile spats, while the likes of Gary Anderson and Joe Cullen have had notable disagreements with opponents. It’s nothing new, according to PDPA Chairman Manley. ‘One Dart’ suggests that it’s an important part of the entertainment.

“You’re always going to get [needle]. The prize money alone, the pressure that these guys are under…you’re going to get things happen that shouldn’t happen,” he told Live Darts.

“It happens in nearly all sports, and it’s dealt with.

“I do think you need these players, just to create that [sense of] ‘I’m going to go tonight, Gerwyn Price is playing Gary Anderson again’.

“We’d all love to see that, and go and watch it.”

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Adrian Lewis, a famous victim of Peter Manley’s wind-ups. Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Needle

Manley became infamous for his ability to wind up opponents. The highlight of the 57-year-old’s villainy was a hot-tempered World Darts Championship bust-up with Adrian Lewis in 2005. Disagreements on the oche led to Jackpot leaving the stage. The Cheam-born thrower recalled the controversy while explaining that fines are as commonplace in darts as the gamesmanship that precedes them.

“I even got fined when Adrian Lewis walked off! And I did nothing wrong in my eyes, but there you go.

“The fines are just a lot bigger now.

“Do I agree with them? Possibly not the amount of fine that players have been given, I think it can be dealt with a bit better than that.”

Cooperation

As PDPA Chairman, Manley presides over an organisation looking to represent and support players. That includes giving counsel if a sanction is dished out. Manley suggested that the PDPA’s relationship with the DRA is currently far from ideal, leading to the PDPA being ostracised in some cases.

“The way the DRA operate, currently we’re unable to participate unless the player allows, and gives us permission to be involved,” he revealed.

“We’re desperate to set up a meeting with the DRA! We’re just waiting for them to suggest suitable dates.”

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Author: Ed McCosh