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Wayne Warren insists he will not return BDO World Championship trophy

Des Jacklin addresses BDO World Championship prize fund and denies “wrongdoing”

Jamie Shaw in BDO World Championship 30 Jun 2020
Jacklin first became BDO Chairman in 2018 (credit: British Darts Organisation)

BDO Chairman Des Jacklin has denied “any wrongdoing” over the reduced prize fund for the World Championship and has defended criticism from reigning champion Wayne Warren.

The decision to take January’s World Championship away from Lakeside resulted in a prize fund slashed by almost 60 per cent due to lack of sponsorship and poor ticket sales.

Men’s champion Warren received just £23,000 – the lowest winner’s cheque for more than 30 years.

Jacklin, who resigned as chairman in March only to reclaim the role a month later, has attributed the drastically reduced prize fund to the failings of sports marketing company Sportotal.

In a ‘no holds barred’ letter to county members, Jacklin responded to Warren’s accusations and the abuse he has received from “haters” on social media.

Jacklin wrote: ‘We all know that the 2020 World Championships paid out about £190,000 less than in previous years, this was due to Sportotal not coming through with a sponsor.

‘The promise of a sponsor kept the BDO hanging for months.

‘Had Sportotal done their job, there would have been no issues and in fact most people would now be saying what a great job the BDO board and I did.

‘Wayne Warren WILL NOT be contacting the police or a solicitor about DES, nor will the management of Wayne Warren (no matter how much bleating they do all over social media) as we all know there has been no wrongdoing by DES, FACT!

‘What I have learned from my time in the BDO is that in most cases the decent people that just want to play darts step away from the posts on social media.

‘They know what is going on and they are simply waiting for their next game of darts and to be able to approach me and tell me how disgusted they are with what they have seen.

‘Occasionally someone posts in defence of either myself, my wife or the BDO and they receive a torrent of abuse from the “haters”. My advice is to just remain quiet.

‘I receive many private messages of support which is why I know the BDO BICC will win this current battle and will be in a great financial position in the coming years.

‘I guess the people that want to see the downfall of the BDO will continue to post lies (and edited videos) about me, my wife and the BDO on social media in order to try and attack the BDO from all angles.

‘I will continue to fight for the BDO BICC for as long as you want me as your chairman.

‘I still believe with a few minor changes within the organisation and the removal of certain individuals that are “hell bent” on destroying a 47-year-old company, we can be great once more.’

In the letter, Jacklin did not address the impending liquidation of the BDO’s commercial arm – British Darts Organisation Enterprises Ltd – nor Warren’s vow to keep the World Championship trophy.

The liquidation effectively marks the end of a 40-year era and brings the curtain down on historic tournaments such as the World Masters, World Trophy and World Championship, leaving only the county and youth systems.

Earlier this month, a new amateur darts organisation ‘MAD’ was announced, fronted by Junior Darts Corporation Chairman Steve Brown and endorsed by the likes of Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld.

Set to launch in 2021, MAD will be open to all non-professional players and is set to host its own World Championship and other major events, becoming a natural replacement for the BDO.