Des Jacklin admits taking on the role of BDO Chairman has been “far more difficult” than he envisaged and has cast doubt over the long-term future of the organisation.
Jacklin took the helm last summer, immediately laying down his ambitious plans to transform the British Darts Organisation following a long period of uncertainty.
He oversaw the removal of restrictions on BDO players entering PDC Qualifying School, as well as permitting BDO players to enter the women’s qualifier for the PDC World Championship.
A three-year broadcast deal with Eurosport and Quest covering the World Trophy, World Masters and Lakeside World Championship was also secured, but an exodus of leading players to the PDC as well as a logistical problems with the World Trophy have since halted Jacklin’s progress.
Now, in a lengthy interview with BBC Radio Lincolnshire, Jacklin has lifted the lid on life as BDO Chairman and has shed light on some of the serious problems he is facing in his attempt to turn the organisation around.
“I don’t think I regret becoming the Chairman because I like the job and I like that I can make a difference,” he said.
“But my hands are tied on a lot of things.
“There are contracts in place that prevent me from speaking to certain companies on certain levels, including potential sponsors.
“Unfortunately, the people who ran the BDO before me got us into this position and I can’t get us out.
“It’s just not working well at the minute but we are working to try and improve it and that’s as much as I can say.
“It’s nobody else’s issue, it’s my problem.
“It’s a job that I took on with my eyes open.
“Unfortunately, what I didn’t realise was, there has been decisions made a year, two, even three years ago, that are affecting the BDO as an organisation now.”
Jacklin, husband of Paula – who competes on the Ladies circuit – admits he is lacking a number of key resources and is forced to undertake multiple roles in an effort to keep costs down.
Currently, a number of the BDO’s flagship events are without a title sponsor or a long-term venue and overall ticket sales have suffered as a result of late announcements.
Jacklin admits he is working tirelessly to rectify the situation but has been left picking up the pieces from the previous regime.
He added: “It’s just not as I thought it would be, it’s far more difficult.
“It’s a difficult situation that we are trying to work our way out of.
“Decisions that have been made in the past have not been thought through and there has been some poor decisions made.
“We are now, as a Board, making the correct decisions.
“I was voted on to do this job as a business and making business decisions isn’t always going to be seen right to a darts player who just wants to throw darts.
“The decisions I make for the business aren’t always going to sit well with everybody, but at the end of the day, I’m here to try and save a business, move it on and have a flourishing business in two or three year’s time.”
One immediate concern among players and fans is the World Trophy, which is scheduled to take place from August 30 to September 1 and broadcast live on Eurosport, however a venue or prize fund is yet to be confirmed.
Jacklin says he hopes to make an announcement regarding the event following the weekend’s Inter-Counties Gold Cup but is still facing stumbling blocks.
“I think I will be making some sort of announcement just after the weekend,” he said.
“We’ve got the inter-counties Gold Cup this weekend which is a huge competition for those who play county darts.
“I know there are a lot of people looking for answers on it, unfortunately these answers just aren’t coming as quickly as I had hoped they would do.
“That’s for various reasons and well out of my control, but something that I’m trying to get a handle on.
“If I can put people’s minds at rest, the event is most likely going to take place, even though there has been speculation.
“I would say right at this moment, the event will take place and I’ll be looking to announce something next week, possibly Monday.”