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Michael van Gerwen leads calls for Premier League Darts format change

Jamie Shaw in Premier League Darts 11 Jun 2023
Van Gerwen celebrates with the trophy (Photo credit: Steven Paston/PDC)

Reigning champion Michael van Gerwen has led calls for the Premier League Darts format to be altered in 2024.

Van Gerwen claimed a record-breaking seventh Premier League title at The O2 in London last month, eclipsing the joint tally he shared with Phil Taylor.

The Dutchman finished the league phase in third position before going on to defeat Michael Smith in the Semi-Finals and Gerwyn Price in the final to clinch the £275,000 top prize.

This year’s Premier League saw the ‘weekly knockout’ format used for the second successive campaign, in which the eight players contested Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and a final each night for a £10,000 bonus, with points for each win counting towards the overall league table.

However, the retained format received a muted reaction from a large section of the TV audience, with some fans on social media claiming the concept had become ‘boring’ and ‘repetitive’.

Van Gerwen joined reigning World Champion Smith on The MMA Hour With Ariel Helwani prior to the US Masters in New York.

When asked about the format, Van Gerwen admitted: “I preferred the old format.

“I liked it more concentrating on one game. 

“I think also, with this format in the Premier League, the top players play each other too much and it’s not spectacular anymore.

“If you see for example Manchester City against Bayern Munich every week, it’s not nice anymore.”

Smith added: “I think I played you three or four weeks running.”

Van Gerwen, who went on to clinch the US Masters crown at Madison Square Garden, had been vocal about his desire for a change of format throughout this season’s Premier League campaign.

Prior to 2022, variations of the Premier League format had included the possibly of a draw, ‘challengers/contenders’ and a ‘relegation’ of the bottom two players in the table at the halfway stage.

The format is set to be reviewed by the PDC ahead of next year’s Premier League – which will be the 20th edition of the invitational event.

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