Left arrow

Des Jacklin resigns as BDO Chairman with immediate effect

Right arrow

Des Jacklin voted back onto the BDO Board

Des Jacklin explains decision to resign as BDO Chairman

Jamie Shaw in BDO Darts News 18 Mar 2020
The final curtain is set to come down on the BDO

Des Jacklin has explained the reasoning behind his decision to quit as BDO Chairman in an extraordinary 2,700-word statement.

Jacklin announced his resignation as BDO Chairman and CEO with immediate effect on Monday, marking the end of a turbulent two years at the helm.

He had overseen seismic changes to the BDO, including the decision to move the World Championship from Lakeside to Indigo at The O2 in January this year.

Jacklin was in charge during the BDO’s biggest crisis period to date which saw the organisation rack up a staggering £468,000 loss during the last financial year.

The decision to leave Lakeside resulted in a prize fund slashed by almost 60 per cent due to lack of sponsorship and poor ticket sales, with men’s champion Wayne Warren receiving just £23,000 – the lowest winner’s cheque since 1989.

The World Masters descended into chaos, with re-draws at the qualifiers and a minimal crowd turnout at the Circus Tavern, while the BDO’s entire team of officials resigned and the WDF ceased to recognise BDO events.

Jacklin’s official resignation letter was followed by a remarkable statement on Facebook in which he pulled no punches on his predecessors, denied accusations of fixing draws and explained the move to The O2.

The statement, in full, read:

‘As most of you already know I have resigned as Chairman of the BDO, the rather short resignation email was all I believed most people deserved from me as I cant think of many people within the BDO that deserve any more of my time however, as disappointed I am in most of the readers there are a few that deserve more, so the following is written to the people that I have come to call friends, to my supporters and my family that have stood by me through the toughest of times during my appointment as BDO Chairman/CEO.

‘I’d like to make this clear that this is not a “tell all” I do not have the time, patience or interest for that, but for every one of the following issues you read about there are at least 10 more issues that you will most likely never hear about, issues just as significant in the grand scheme of things, but this is just an insight into some of the issues and situations over the past 24 months.

‘I became a Director in August 2017 and in the first 3 months I uncovered the most disgraceful and unethical behaviour from the people that the Counties had continued to vote In office for years before me and I knew something had to happen drastic if we were to survive the low state these people had run the BDO into.

‘I knew that the position of Chairman was not without its pitfalls, nevertheless I took the position on, I did this because the information that I had found out compelled me to do so, this position I found myself in , this gut feeling I had is something only a few of you will understand, and only the bravest most confident people allow themselves to take on the position that I did.

‘When I took on the Position of Chairman/CEO I was not aware that the BDO Board (at that time) had all but signed over both BDOE and BDO LTD to an individual back in or around 2014/2015, nor did I know that the same BDO Board had acquired the services of yet another company to “get them out of that contract” and in return signed both BDOE and BDO LTD into a new contract with the very same company that “got them out of the previous contract” yes people , its all very complex and bizarre, but something that I had to deal with.

‘Before I was Chairman it seems that contracts were signed and not given any real thought, no plan for the future, and its because this lack of business planning for so many years that has made my job so difficult.

‘During the first few months as Chairman I also discovered Contracts that the BDO were “bound by” but had not been signed due to either not understanding them or not wanting to have a difficult conversation regarding the said contracts?

‘I discovered that so many people got a free ride at the BDO expense, Dutch men (not players) that had free rooms for the duration of the Winmau World Masters and the Lakeside World Professionals for the past so many years that added up to thousands and thousands of pounds, the Torremolinos open where rooms were booked in false names and people arrived 7 days before the event to “set up”? yet my first year (last year) myself and one other Director arrive the day before the event was due to start and set up everything with hours to spare? I also could not understand how the total amount of profit made for the BDO company at the Torremolinos open over 7 or 8 years added up to a total of around £17,000, yet I take over and make a profit of almost £15,000 in my first year? No wonder this event has been known as the “BDO jolly up”.

‘I uncover an invoice that a BDO Director instructed the supplier to change and then some confusion about the same payment not being made for almost 4 months? I challenge it and suddenly £3,000+ gets transferred back into the BDO account? this issue is currently with the South Wales Police (I have a crime reference number).

‘I’d like to clear up the World Masters 2019 issue, the system we have in place to register people and draw the event is WRONG, it cannot work correctly when you have people from so many Countries all registering themselves, and to make it worse most people still don’t know do they register themselves? Does their County? Does their Country? I said two months before the event that I wanted to do the draw on the day, I did not want to do a draw where we had to rely on so many other people’s involvement, but sadly I was “shouted down” by people around me that knew best????? No they didn’t know best because we all saw what happened, and I can tell you that what happened in the World Masters 2019 has happened in almost every tournament at some point throughout the past few years (PEOPLE GOT LEFT OUT THE DRAW AND PEOPLE WERE IN THE DRAW THAT SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN IN), but unlike in previous years and other events, but instead of the people that it concerned “kicking off” and being slipped into the draw without people knowing about it like its happened SO MANY TIMES BEFORE, I did it different, I was honest and up front and made an announcement about what had happened and what we were doing to put it right, the only difference between the World Masters 2019 and every other year before was I MADE YOU AWARE WE HAD MADE THE MISTAKE!!!!

‘The WDF (very much with its own agenda) then jumped on what happened at the World Masters and reduced our states as associate member. Thing is, what they did was unlawful and imposed what they did without any warning letter or right of reply, they simply acted on hearsay, the BDO Board can both explain and support everything that we did at the World Masters 2019, but where will it get us when so many people want us to fail ? you know the funniest thing about all of this was in the first three WDF and BDO ranked events of 2020, 2 of the events did re-draws in their RANKED SINGLES event and then for good measure still added names to the draw afterwards. I wrote to WDF Chairman Bill Hatter and insisted that they must be treated the same as the BDO had been , but his explanation was “no player has complained so nothing will be done” yes folks, I have the email!

‘And as for me “rigging the draw so my Mrs gets a an easier game, first of all that’s pretty disrespectful to the other player that has had to win an International event out right or get so high up an a rankings system that gives her automatic qualification? Paula’s first game at the World Masters 2019 was against the current World Cup Champion, it was only because some so called (BDO fanatics/experts?) didn’t know who the Lady was that they assumed it was a fix, tell me? If I’m giving my Mrs free ride, do I put her against the World Cup Champ, FIRST ROUND??? Christ sake .

‘Incidentally, if I tried in any way to give my Mrs Darts draw any easier and she found out, SHE WOULD KILL ME!

‘The reason Why the BDO World Professional had to ,move away from the Lakeside was because we lost nearly £200,000 to hold it there, the Lakeside only paid for the prize money £329,000 we got nothing else at all meaning we had to pay all production costs, officials, hotels, staging, lighting and all other costs, to continue with the Lakeside we would lose £200,000 minimum and that’s with me cutting costs. Even taking the above Into consideration, the Lakeside would not even talk to me for the first 6 months of 2019 even after numerous emails and telephone calls, it then turned out that there were people with a vendetta against me that had contacted the Lakeside in a bid to wreak havoc and try to stage their own event there? It’s a wonder the BDO even survived 2019 with so many people desperate to try and make me fail even at the expense of the BDO itself, and these people call themselves BDO people.

‘The BDO Board and I come up with ways to earn the BDO money by imposing a levy on all players entering a World Ranking Tournament and charging the Organiser of the said tournament a fee for the points at the Tournament, admittedly not ideal half way through a season but sometimes you have to take drastic measures to save a company but the BDO isn’t allowed to save itself and its certainly not allowed to make money.

‘I’m writing this while I’m in Torremolinos (getting slaughtered on social media) dealing with the issues here with cancelling the event due to the Corona Virus. I had to follow the procedures in the way I did or no one would be entitled to any refund, if the BDO had cancelled the event while Flights were still operating, Airports were still open, Hotels were still operating and NO announcement from the Spanish Government everyone that booked would have lost their money and I make absolutely NO APOLOGIES for handling this issue In this way, admittedly it wasn’t the best outcome but it was the best outcome given the circumstances.

‘It would seem that other organisations and darts competitions are now facing a similar situation as I had with Torremolinos, the very same people who verbally destroyed all over the internet for continuing with the Torremolinos Darts Festival have made the very same decision as I did? What an absolute joke, welcome to my world the only difference being that I made the decisions I made for my guests, paying visitors, friends and new customers whereas the decision made by these other organisers to continue with their tournaments can have only been a decision made through sheer GREED.

‘I spoke to the other Directors and insisted that we cancel the final two County Matches of the season. I am experiencing what is actually happening right now in Spain with the Corona Virus Pandemic and in my opinion things in the UK will only get worse, Spain went from all quite normal at 2pm Friday 13th to total Country wide lock-down at 11pm Sunday 15th and after listening to our Prime Ministers speech yesterday afternoon I believe we had no choice but to follow the recommended guidelines.

‘Already the usual suspects are dragging my name through the dirt because of this decision, but I will not have on my conscious or the name of the BDO anyone’s ill health or god forbid any fatalities because we or I put a game of darts above a PANDEMIC.

‘Its all just gotten to hard, I wake up every morning with yet another battle that I have to fight for the BDO, people that I have trusted and thought were here to help push our side of the sport along have in actual fact worked against me and its all just to much now with so many people wanting to kick us when we are down. I had put together a new plan of action to present to you at the April meeting only to discover that representatives from England, Scotland and Wales had got together and set up a new registered Company ready to take over the BICC? Incidentally it’s the same people that are working with the WDF and trying to stage their own World Championships back at the Lakeside on December 5th, it’s a date deliberately picked to try and destroy us altogether and It’s another battle I just don’t want, incidentally when it comes to light who is behind it all it wont come as a shock to many of you, but some of you will feel like you have been taken for a ride, and guess what?? You have.

‘Most of you will know that on December 5th 2019 I was on a 5 day holiday in Tenerife, I went out jogging and fell over a kerb dislocating and breaking my shoulder, it just happens t be the most excruciating pain in ever been in. I should have had an operation January 3rd through my Private Medical Insurance to correct the injury but I refused it due to the World Professionals at the 02, this decision not only created friction in my entire family but also proved to be the wrong decision as its left me with complications, yet I still believe on some level it was the right thing to do for the BDO as I honestly don’t know how we would have got through the World Professionals had I not been there, I can assure you all that the players would not have got anywhere near the pay-out they received FACT.

‘As I said earlier, there are many more incidents that have lead me to the place I am in now, issues so bizarre you simply would not believe me, hell I wouldn’t believe me if had didn’t have first-hand involvement and it’s a mixture of issues that finally made my mind up for me, I’m tired of the two steps forward one step back life I’m in, I’ve never been involved with so much failure before and the harder I try the further things seem away from me, sadly it’s time to leave.

‘I guess within minutes of pressing enter this post will have been shared several times and find its way to the darts forums, I’m guessing the fools with no life will correct my “gwammer” haha, call me a liar (with absolutely no evidence at all, nor will they ever find any) and tell the world how better of the whole darting world is without me, it’s not until later in the evening when they’ve finished type that the sad reality sets in “what now”, Christ that sounds narcissistic , but sadly very true!

‘I know there will be many people genuinely disappointed with this decision I’ve made but I also know I will have their full support, they know I have not taken this decision lightly and have been thinking about it for many months, it’s to those people that I offer my most sincere apologies and at the same time thank for all their support.

‘There are so many people from different Counties that have helped me though, and although just can’t name everyone individually (you know who you are) but Frank and Mac (the other two BDO Directors) have been there for me so much and know my Gratitude.

‘I also have to mention Giovanna in the office is going through a real difficult time right now with personal issues but has taken so much work off me, when the County Delegates come to their next County meeting if the BICC don’t take advantage of what she’s learned over the past 24 months and her honesty by keeping her in her paid position then they don’t deserve to succeed.

‘Whilst we are talking about the next BICC meeting, although I will not be available to help anyone anymore with anything BDO related, I will be at the next meeting whenever it is to answer ANY questions about decisions I have made during my time as BDO Chairman, to run away is something I’ve never done, although I know a certain few will not like the answers they get!

‘The person who always stands by me, the one who gets me through everything no matter what, is my Paula, I’m not thanking her, it seems almost an insult to do that, the Lady is my EVERYTHING and the only one who’s opinion and approval matters and means anything to me.

‘I’m not 100% sure what I will do now but what I do know is I will have more time for to the mighty Lincolnshire County darts Org, my family and friends, my wife and dare I say more travel.’