BDO has “hit rock bottom” says Darryl Fitton

Jamie Shaw in BDO Darts News 07 Dec 2019
Fitton has his say on the current BDO situation (Photo by Chris Dean/PDC)

Former major winner Darryl Fitton has hit out at the current running of the BDO, admitting the organisation has “hit rock bottom”.

Fitton, the 2014 World Trophy winner and three-time Lakeside semi-finalist, believes the BDO has taken a backward step under Chairman Des Jacklin and says he fears for its future.

The BDO has been plagued by problems in recent months including re-draws at the World Masters, loss of official recognition from the WDF, ranking status removed from the Dutch Open and minimal ticket sales.

Fitton, who competed on the BDO circuit from 2002-2018, has called for a new European council to be formed in order to steer the organisation in the right direction.

“It [the BDO] has been falling on its backside for a couple of years and has hit rock bottom,” Fitton told Live Darts.

“It’s ironic how the founder of the BDO has just passed away and it looks like he’s taken his baby with him.

“You can’t blame the present chairman, but he’s not helped.

“I think they can still save it, but what the BDO needs to do is have two separate entities, the BDO enterprises needs to run the tournaments and the BDO as we know it should run the counties.

“They could maybe bring in a European council or something like that, get people in from Holland, Germany and Belgium who know what they’re doing and how to run events because the BDO is going backwards.”

The BDO announced in August it was to take the World Championship away from Lakeside for the first time in 33 years, with London’s O2 Indigo announced as the new venue.

Leaked documents have shown just over 2,000 tickets have been sold across the entire week of the tournament so far, accounting for around ten per cent of the capacity.

Fitton, admits the venue change could be a positive move for the BDO if ticket sales were to drastically rise in the weeks prior to the competition.

He added: “The Indigo O2 is a great venue and it’s a step forward in a way but I think it was all done wrong and probably done at the last minute.

“Bob Potter [Lakeside owner] was great at putting coaches on for people to get to his venue and he sold a lot of the tickets.

“My fondest memory of playing there was playing Andy Fordham the year he won the world title.

“We played in the Quarter-Finals and the atmosphere was electric, it buzzed through your whole body, I even had to step back because of the noise.

“It is a sad day for the BDO but there is still light at the end of the tunnel, it’s not dead yet.”