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Durrant urges Hearn to offer out PDC Tour Card amid contractual ties

Jamie Shaw in Darts Interviews 16 Nov 2017
Durrant has his heart set on a move to the PDC in 2018 (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Glen Durrant has urged PDC Chairman Barry Hearn to reinstate the offer of a Tour Card to the reigning BDO World Champion after signing a contract which could prevent him from joining the PDC in January.
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Durrant, the current BDO World Champion, has expressed his desire to ply his trade in the Professional Darts Corporation in 2018 after he returns to Lakeside in an attempt to defend his title.
However, the Middlesbrough ace could become embroiled in a contractual dispute with the British Darts Organisation after signing a contract which forbids him from switching codes should he reach the Semi-Finals or final of the 2018 Lakeside Championship.
Durrant, 48, may be forced to surrender any prize money earned from reaching the Semi-Finals onwards if he wishes to join the PDC ranks next season.
Speaking after his 10-8 win over Dave Chisnall in the Last 16 of the Grand Slam of Darts on Wednesday, ‘Duzza’ revealed: “I’ve signed a contract and I’ll be playing at Lakeside.
“That contract says if I get to the Semi-Finals, final or win it then I can’t go to Qualifying School.
“If I get to the Semi-Finals, I’ve got real problems then. If I don’t then I’m going to Q School.”
After winning the Lakeside title in 2014, Stephen Bunting accepted the offer of a PDC Tour Card, but no such invitation has been made to a Lakeside champion since.
Durrant launched a direct plea to Hearn to pave the way for him to join the PDC next year, adding: “Barry Hearn – give me a tour card.”
Hearn, though, later confirmed on Twitter that no Tour Card invite would be offered and that Durrant would have to earn his place on the circuit by progressing through a vast field of entries at Qualifying School in January.

Currently ranked number two in the BDO invitation tables, Durrant’s victory over Chisnall in Wolverhampton saw him become the first BDO player since 2013 to reach the Grand Slam Quarter-Finals.
Having also reached the knock-out phase on his debut 12 months ago, Durrant’s taste of life on the PDC stage appears to have whet the appetite to further his career in the coming years.
“I love the BDO and I’m representing the BDO,” he added. “They gave me the Lakeside Championship and that I’ll never forget, but at 48 years old, I’ve got one challenge left.
“There’s politics involved and I don’t want contracts to get in the way. 
“I’ve signed that contract because I wanted to respect that Lakeside trophy and I will be giving everything I can to win it.
“It’s important I’m not disrespectful to the BDO, I’m the last BDO man in the competition. 
“If I was 28 years old I’d be staying where I am but I just believe at 48, there’s one challenge left.
“Maybe I’ve spoken too much but that’s all honesty and that’s how I feel.”
Durrant will take on Peter Wright in Friday’s Quarter-Finals, and having beaten ‘Snakebite’ in the round-robin phase, the Teessider is relishing the prospect of a rematch.
“Peter is such a great person,” admitted Durrant. “There’s not that PDC/BDO divide downstairs, he made a real effort with me and made me feel welcome.
“There’s been so much talk of BDO vs PDC but I was determined to come here and, for once, think of me.
“I was local league five years ago and now I’m up on that big stage, I have to pinch myself.”