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Wayne Warren insists he will not return BDO World Championship trophy

BDO World Championship prize money “gutting” admits Wayne Warren

Jamie Shaw in BDO World Championship 18 Feb 2020
Warren received the lowest winner’s cheque for more than 30 years (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Wayne Warren has described his World Championship prize money as “gutting” and has opened up on his decision to opt out of Qualifying School.

Warren, 57, became BDO World Champion for the first time at London’s Indigo at The O2 in January, the first staging of the tournament to be held away from Lakeside in over 30 years.

The Welsh veteran overcame his compatriot Jim Williams in the final, and with the prize fund unconfirmed at the time of lifting the trophy, later discovered he would receive just £23,000 for his success.

The overall prize fund was slashed by almost 60 per cent for the men’s tournament and ten per cent for the ladies event.

Warren’s paycheque marked a £77,000 reduction on Glen Durrant’s prize in 2019, and the Rhondda thrower has spoken out on his frustration at receiving the lowest winner’s cheque since 1989.

“We knew things weren’t right by a mile,” admitted Warren, speaking to Red Dragon Darts.

“The prestige is winning the trophy, simple. But once you’ve lifted that cup you think about the money.

“I didn’t know what money I was going to get.

“I heard various different figures but when I actually had the figure told to me, it was gutting really.

“I’ve got the cup now and that’s it really, you’ve just got to get on with it.”

Warren was among the initial list of entries for PDC Qualifying School, which began just four days after the conclusion of the BDO World Championship.

However, he took the late decision to opt out of a trip to Wigan in an attempt to secure a Tour Card, citing fatigue and the mental impact of the BDO prize money situation.

“I came back from The O2 and to be honest I was mentally and physically tired,” added Warren.

“I phoned my manager and I said about not going and he said ‘sit down and have a think about it’, which I was doing.

“Then I had an email about the money situation and to be honest, in my head, it was pointless me going up there.

“I can’t go to a tournament like that, especially a big one like Q School.

“Then I thought to myself, I need to generate money from that cup [BDO World Championship] so I’m going to be as busy as I can this year.

“I just didn’t want to do the tour, I can’t do the two together.

“PDC next year? Maybe.

“I hope it’s going to be a very busy year, that’s my plan, to push in as much work as I can.

“I’ll do the odd couple of tournaments but it won’t be as it was last year, no way.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of the BDO, a recent Board statement signalled its intention to continue in 2020 and beyond, including hosting the 2021 World Championship.

Meanwhile, the WDF recently announced it is set to host a new World Championship style event, and Warren insists it is crucial for the grass roots level of the sport to have its own recognised World Champion.

“It’s an absolute must,” he added. “Whether the WDF will carry it on… I don’t know what’s happening with the BDO.

“At the end of the day, it’s a workingman’s game that everyone was brought up on and if you take that away then I think darts in general would take a backward step.

“When you see these top professionals with the PDC, I think a lot of the BDO players will be afraid and I think it will be the end of darts as an amateur darts.”