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Phil Taylor slams “scandalous” Gerwyn Price verdict

Phil Lanning in Darts Interviews 11 Feb 2019
Stoke legend Taylor looks on (credit:Taylor Lanning)
Sixteen-time World Champion Phil Taylor has blasted the Darts Regulation Authority’s fine on Gerwyn Price as “scandalous”.
The Welshman was hit with £21,500 in fines and a three-month ban, suspended for six months, relating to three separate incidents during the 2018 Grand Slam.
Despite the rap, Price won his opening Unibet Premier League clash in Newcastle last week and now faces Raymond van Barneveld at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on Thursday.
Taylor, speaking at the recent SAP Darts Slam in Prague, was heavily critical of the sanctions imposed on Price, believing they are too harsh. 
“On one hand they are telling you to go out and be a character, enjoy yourself and want the crowds to do the same, but on the other hand they fine you for doing it,” Taylor told Live Darts.
“You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The amount of fine he’s had is absolutely scandalous in my opinion.
“I don’t see really what he did wrong. I see other players doing exactly the same thing.
“He did nothing different than Michael van Gerwen, Andy Hamilton or Kim Huybrechts. But he gets a 20-odd thousand pound fine for it.
“Why don’t they just have a meeting with the players and say we don’t want characters anymore? We just want you to be lame ducks up there and not do anything. Because if you do something we’re going to fine you.”
Taylor, who retired just over a year ago, also believes that his Scottish pal Gary Anderson will be LUCKY to keep playing for another 18 months because of his back injury.
Anderson withdrew from the 2019 Unibet Premier League, and Taylor admitted: “I’ve never missed it once and I’m glad I’ve retired – It’s just mad. 
“I knew my body couldn’t take it anymore, I was knackered all the time. Tempers were flaring because all the players are tired. 
“It’s not just playing darts, it’s everything that goes with it. 
“Gary’s body is starting to break down. If he’s lucky he’ll get another 18 months out the game. I know he’s suffering with his back.
“I don’t sympathise because it’s his own choice, the same with me. I can sympathise with the way he feels and it’s getting harder for him.
“The youngsters are coming through and playing better and it will continue to get more difficult for him to keep the standard up.
“You just know when your time is up. The only thing I regret is announcing that I was going to retire because that was the longest year of my life. 
“I was lucky because I’d qualified for everything. The difference with Barney is that he hasn’t, he’s got to work harder now just to qualify. 
“It might be his last year and he might not play in the Worlds.”
Taylor also believes that only Michael Smith looks likely to be able to stop Van Gerwen from dominating the circuit this year after the pair met in the World Championship final and on the opening night of the Premier League.
The Power added: “MVG will continue to dominate, it’s only Gary who is strong enough to give him a good game. I think that gives Michael a clear run. 
“I thought Michael Smith did brilliant, I felt he could do a Rob Cross in the Worlds but the occasion got to him a little bit. But he has the ability to win anything.”