Gerwyn Price treated “too harshly” with record fine says Chris Mason

Mason believes Price has been treated harshly (credit:Live Darts)

Gerwyn Price has been treated “too harshly” with a record fine according to former oche bad boy Chris Mason.

The Welshman was hit with a £21,500 fine and three-month ban, suspended for six months, after his fiery Grand Slam of Darts final clash with Gary Anderson in November. 

The Darts Regulation Authority concluded that Price was “Bringing the sport into disrepute and gamesmanship” after his over-zealous celebrations against the Scottish star.

But Mason, now an ITV and Eurosport pundit, said: "I'm massively shocked. Especially when we’ve seen the other types of fines handed out over the years.

"I think because he committed two offences, in their eyes, because they fined him heavily for the Simon Whitlock match.

"I think it's their way of nipping it in the bud. I'm pretty sure they didn't need to fine him the best part of 22 grand. I don't know where they are coming from.

"In other cases they've handed out fairly mediocre type of bans. But since he's been on the scene he's ruffled a few feathers.

"Gerwyn comes from a completely different sporting background where aggression is key. But in our sport it's obviously not.

"What would they have done with Eric Bristow back in the day?"

The pair clashed on the oche during an ill-tempered final, with Price seen to celebrate in Anderson's face, while the Scot responded at one stage by pushing his opponent.

Price was fined £12,000 for his actions in the final, as well as a further £8,000 for the same offences in his Quarter-Final match with Simon Whitlock.

He was also fined £1,500 for subsequent posts on social media and warned as to his future behaviour.

Anderson, meanwhile, was found to be in breach of the rules when he pushed Price and has been given a formal warning.

Though he does not condone Price's actions, Mason believes 'The Ice Man' has been made an example of by the DRA, adding: "I think it's too harsh on him, personally. 

"I can't agree or attempt to condone his actions, but I'm also fully aware that he's been around darts five minutes and the rules have changed.

"It was very much a game brought up my fairly hardline men in pubs years ago, you would have been slapped down a peg or two if your behaviour was deemed unsporting.

"He's come from rugby where there's respect shown to the referee but no discipline for your opponents. I don't think he's quite grasped the etiquette side of the sport. Because he was allowed to get away with it early on, it's just snowballed.

"There's nothing wrong with celebrating or being passionate or involving the crowd. It's just about the timing. As long as it's not being deemed in a way to put your opponent off.

"But people have to understand the intensity and pressure you are under."

Price was Public Enemy number one at the World Championship when he lost to Nathan Aspinall in the Second Round and Mason also believes that Price will be a big target of the boo-boys when he returns to the Unibet Premier League next month.

He added: "I have sympathy for Gerwyn. You talk to him away from the oche and he's an absolute lovely guy. He has the right physical image that we want, he's very approachable and great with the press.

"In darts if the fans don't like you they can destroy you. Ultimately being disliked shortened Paul Nicholson's career.

"We've seen how it was for him in the Worlds when he played Nathan Aspinall. He was certainly subdued in that one.

"He's going to be on the end of some serious stick. Gary Anderson is one of the most popular players the sport has ever produced. So what is going to happen to him in Scotland?

"The fall out on social media, some people have got different opinions. Some people mentioned Michael van Gerwen in the way he celebrates. 

"But it's very much a timing thing with him, at key moments, winning key legs or talking out big shots. It's not generally directed towards his opponent.

"It's more of an internal response. A celebration for him doing something very well.

"Celebrating isn't a new thing, gamesmanship on stage isn't a new thing. I just think it’s the manner in which it's been done. I think some players have found it genuinely intimidating and I just don’t think it's the image that the sport is trying to portray."

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Gerwyn Price treated “too harshly” with record fine says Chris Mason

Gerwyn Price has been treated “too harshly” with a record fine, according to former oche bad boy Chris Mason.

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