Former BDO Chairman Des Jacklin seizes World Championship trophy

Controversial former BDO Chairman Des Jacklin has seized the World Championship trophy from Wayne Warren following a police investigation.

Warren had been in possession of the prestigious trophy since becoming the last ever BDO World Champion at London’s Indigo O2 in January last year.

After racking up a staggering £468,000 loss during the last financial year, BDO Enterprises Ltd subsequently entered liquidation in May 2020, effectively bringing the curtain down on more than 40 years of darting history.

The liquidation marked the end of the road for longstanding major tournaments including the World Masters, World Trophy and World Championship, leaving only the county and youth systems.

By September, the UKDA had acquired the entire county system after it had displayed a vote of no confidence in the BDO.

The BDO made no formal acknowledgement of the acquisition.

Following a slump in ticket sales and failure to attract sponsors, the prize fund for the 2020 BDO World Championship was slashed by almost 60 per cent for the men’s tournament and ten per cent for the ladies event.

Men’s champion Warren received just £23,000, the lowest winner’s cheque in more than 30 years.

Warren, who is now the reigning MAD World Champion, insisted he had no intention of handing over the trophy, however police intervention has forced the proud Welshman to part with the famous silverware.

Jacklin posted the following message on Facebook on Friday evening, which has since been deleted:

A later post by Jacklin appeared to accuse Warren of theft, adding: “I’ve just blocked and deleted over 100 people that think it’s ok to be a thief.”

Several players and pundits have responded angrily to Jacklin’s remarks, criticising the controversial former Chairman’s conduct and his nine-hour round trip to collect the trophy during lockdown.

Canada’s Dawson Murschell said: “Block me too then. Ran amateur darts into the ground and you’re worried about a damn trophy that you can’t even put a tournament on for.

“He is the reigning BDO World Champion so the trophy belongs with him. End of. Until you can put another world championships on – you’re the thief.”

Former Lakeside semi-finalist Robbie Green added: “Essential travel to South Wales to pick a trophy up?”

Paul Nicholson tweeted: “I don’t quite have the words for this right now. They will come to me.”

Jacklin is also pursuing the World Masters trophy from champion John O’Shea – against whom he had threatened legal action last October.

He penned a direct letter to O’Shea which was leaked on social media, stating that O’Shea had signed a contract for the return of the trophy and that he had “several screenshots” of O’Shea’s social media posts in which he vowed to keep the trophy.

O’Shea remained adamant he planned to keep the trophy until it can be returned to a “fully functional organisation”.

The World Darts Federation (WDF) is set to launch its own World Masters and World Championship, while MAD (Modern Amateur Darts) will continue to host its own events and offer amateur players the chance to compete for various title belts.

Des Jacklin threatens legal action against John O’Shea over World Masters trophy

Former BDO Chairman Des Jacklin has threatened to take legal action against John O’Shea over the return of the World Masters trophy.

Ireland’s O’Shea claimed the prestigious title as an unseeded outsider at The Circus Tavern 12 months ago.

The 2019 tournament, which was held in consecutive years since 1974, transpired to be the last World Masters organised by the BDO after the collapse of the organisation last month.

Despite BDO Enterprises LTD having been placed into liquidation and the UKDA having acquired all county teams, Jacklin has refused to give up in his quest to have the World Masters trophy returned.

He penned a direct letter to O’Shea which was leaked on social media on Tuesday, stating that O’Shea had signed a contract for the return of the trophy and that he had “several screenshots” of O’Shea’s social media posts in which he vowed to keep the trophy.

Jacklin went on to claim he had “taken the liberty of of filing in the documents for legal court action” and would file the claim to the courts at 9am on Friday October 30 unless the trophy was returned in the meantime.

O’Shea remains adamant he plans to keep the trophy until it can be returned to a “fully functional organisation”.

The 45-year-old posted on Facebook: “A year on after winning the most prestigious event in world darts, a time to look back over the memories through this horrible time with Covid-19.

“What a week in my life and my family’s life what it meant to me even now.

“But unfortunately has been tarnished from emails and threats of court proceedings from none other than …yep you guess it.

“A tournament surrounded by glory and loved by the British Darting community for as long as it’s been played for since 1974.

“When I won the amount of that community in the UK that shared that moment with me and everyone here in Ireland.

“Not only has the BDO folded and all players shift their darting careers elsewhere but yet again here we are dragging what once was a great organisation through the gutter as if it could be dragged anymore.

“As an Irishman winning what has been dominated by the greatest Dart players that ever walked the face of this planet, I would have liked to defend the World Masters or at least given the opportunity to hold on to the trophy till such time as it be played for again.

“But yesterday had an email and today I responded and the results were everything I expected to be honest.

“I let the Darting world decide if I am wrong and see the judge who will decide the home of the World Masters trophy till she graces another stage.

“I am well aware the trophy is not mine to keep but why put it in storage and never seen again at least its appreciated where it is now and well looked after and insured.”

O’Shea picked up £18,000 for his World Masters triumph after a tournament that was thrown into turmoil with a re-draw in the early rounds and a sparse crowd throughout the week.

The World Darts Federation (WDF) is set to launch its own World Masters and World Championship in 2021.

The BDO’s official website was taken offline earlier this month but has since re-emerged.

Des Jacklin addresses BDO World Championship prize fund and denies “wrongdoing”

BDO Chairman Des Jacklin has denied “any wrongdoing” over the reduced prize fund for the World Championship and has defended criticism from reigning champion Wayne Warren.

The decision to take January’s World Championship away from Lakeside resulted in a prize fund slashed by almost 60 per cent due to lack of sponsorship and poor ticket sales.

Men’s champion Warren received just £23,000 – the lowest winner’s cheque for more than 30 years.

Jacklin, who resigned as chairman in March only to reclaim the role a month later, has attributed the drastically reduced prize fund to the failings of sports marketing company Sportotal.

In a ‘no holds barred’ letter to county members, Jacklin responded to Warren’s accusations and the abuse he has received from “haters” on social media.

Jacklin wrote: ‘We all know that the 2020 World Championships paid out about £190,000 less than in previous years, this was due to Sportotal not coming through with a sponsor.

‘The promise of a sponsor kept the BDO hanging for months.

‘Had Sportotal done their job, there would have been no issues and in fact most people would now be saying what a great job the BDO board and I did.

‘Wayne Warren WILL NOT be contacting the police or a solicitor about DES, nor will the management of Wayne Warren (no matter how much bleating they do all over social media) as we all know there has been no wrongdoing by DES, FACT!

‘What I have learned from my time in the BDO is that in most cases the decent people that just want to play darts step away from the posts on social media.

‘They know what is going on and they are simply waiting for their next game of darts and to be able to approach me and tell me how disgusted they are with what they have seen.

‘Occasionally someone posts in defence of either myself, my wife or the BDO and they receive a torrent of abuse from the “haters”. My advice is to just remain quiet.

‘I receive many private messages of support which is why I know the BDO BICC will win this current battle and will be in a great financial position in the coming years.

‘I guess the people that want to see the downfall of the BDO will continue to post lies (and edited videos) about me, my wife and the BDO on social media in order to try and attack the BDO from all angles.

‘I will continue to fight for the BDO BICC for as long as you want me as your chairman.

‘I still believe with a few minor changes within the organisation and the removal of certain individuals that are “hell bent” on destroying a 47-year-old company, we can be great once more.’

In the letter, Jacklin did not address the impending liquidation of the BDO’s commercial arm – British Darts Organisation Enterprises Ltd – nor Warren’s vow to keep the World Championship trophy.

The liquidation effectively marks the end of a 40-year era and brings the curtain down on historic tournaments such as the World Masters, World Trophy and World Championship, leaving only the county and youth systems.

Earlier this month, a new amateur darts organisation ‘MAD’ was announced, fronted by Junior Darts Corporation Chairman Steve Brown and endorsed by the likes of Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld.

Set to launch in 2021, MAD will be open to all non-professional players and is set to host its own World Championship and other major events, becoming a natural replacement for the BDO.

Des Jacklin returns as BDO Chairman a month after resigning

Des Jacklin has completed a remarkable U-turn to reclaim the position of BDO Chairman just over a month after tendering his resignation.

On Monday, it was revealed Jacklin had been voted back onto the BDO Board of Directors after receiving the backing of 66 per cent of the counties.

It was understood that Jacklin, who resigned on March 17, would not be returning as chairman and would oversee finances before a final decision is made at the next AGM.

However, 24 hours later, he has been confirmed as BDO Chairman once again after receiving a unanimous vote from the new Board of Directors.

Jacklin confirmed the re-appointment in a letter to the counties on Tuesday afternoon, admitting: “The past four weeks has given me the time to reflect on the events of the past 18 months and re-evaluate my position, thoughts and vision required to take the company forward.

“I also feel I’ve had chance to re-charge my batteries, so to speak.”

The new Board of Directors is made up of Jacklin as BDO Chairman, Peter Gilchrist as Vice Chairman, Bob Foster as Commercial Director, Graham Manning as Players Director and Stephen Gittus as Financial Director.

Jacklin once again slammed the use of social media to discredit the organisation, insisting the BDO “is treated differently to any other company on the planet” and revealed new rules will be put in place regarding the use of social media.

He added: “We will be appointing a committee whose purpose is to monitor social media and more importantly where the BDO, its directors, county officials and players fit in.

“We will be taking a very hard stance on what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour and as soon as this is in place, all counties will be expected to adopt our new ruling.

“As soon as this is legally adopted, there will be a consequence to your actions both in the way of fines and exclusion.”

Jacklin ended the letter by thanking those that had given him the “kick in the rear” he needed to accept the position and vowed: “together we will win.”

The BDO is continuing to chase refunds from the Sol Principe hotel, the host venue of the Torremolinos Festival of Darts, which was cancelled last month due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Jacklin was at the helm 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 take the World Championship away from 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 reasoning behind the move to The O2.

The previous BDO board stated at the foot of the most recent financial report that it ‘recognises the risks associated with continuing operations’ but is continuing to work at arranging sponsorship deals and TV coverage for its scheduled tournaments.

Des Jacklin voted back onto the BDO Board

Des Jacklin has been voted back onto the BDO Board of Directors just weeks after tendering his resignation as chairman.

Jacklin announced his resignation as chairman with immediate effect on March 17, seemingly ending a turbulent two-year spell at the helm.

However, little over a month later, Jacklin is set to return to BDO Board after being voted back in by a majority of the counties.

Live Darts understands Jacklin received 66 per cent of votes, and though he initially declined due to an apparent lack of trust, he later reversed his decision and took up the position.

It is understood that Jacklin will not return as chairman and will oversee finances before a final decision is made at the next AGM.

The BDO is continuing to chase refunds from the Sol Principe hotel, the host venue of the Torremolinos Festival of Darts, which was cancelled last month due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

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 take the World Championship away from 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 reasoning behind the move to The O2.

The BDO board stated at the foot of the most recent financial report that it ‘recognises the risks associated with continuing operations’ but is continuing to work at arranging sponsorship deals and TV coverage for its scheduled tournaments.

Des Jacklin explains decision to resign as BDO Chairman

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.’

Des Jacklin resigns as BDO Chairman with immediate effect

Des Jacklin has announced his resignation as British Darts Organisation Chairman and CEO with immediate effect.

Jacklin took the helm in 2018 and 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.

Amid the growing uncertainty surrounding the future of the BDO, Jacklin has now taken the decision to leave the role with immediate effect.

A statement from posted on the BDO website read: ‘After many months of thoughts and deliberation, I have made the decision to resign my position as BDO Director, Chairman and CEO with immediate effect.

‘I wish all success to my successor and the BDO for the future.’

Jacklin immediately implemented a number of ground-breaking rule changes in 2018, including the removal of restrictions on BDO players entering PDC Qualifying School on the back of the Lakeside World Championship.

Female players were given the green light to enter the qualifiers for the PDC World Championship, while a three-year TV deal with Eurosport was also secured for the World Trophy, World Masters and World Championship.

However, things quickly began to decline in 2019 when ticket sales slumped and the BDO’s entire team of match officials, including Master of Ceremonies Richard Ashdown, resigned.

The BDO’s decision to leave Lakeside after 33 years raised eyebrows across the darting community, eventually resulting in a prize fund slashed by almost 60 per cent due to lack of sponsorship and poor ticket sales.

Wayne Warren received just £23,000 for winning the BDO World Championship – the lowest winner’s cheque since 1989.

In addition, the World Masters descended into chaos, with re-draws at the qualifiers and a minimal crowd turnout at the Circus Tavern prompting rumours that Jacklin had vowed to walk away.

The WDF, the sport’s official governing body, also announced in December that it will no longer recognise BDO operated tournaments.

Jacklin oversaw the World Championship, which went ahead despite the unknown prize fund and a vote of no-confidence from a number of players.

Earlier this month, company accounts for the year ending May 31, 2019 revealed BDO Enterprises Limited incurred total losses of £468,452, a figure which has since grown following the three major tournaments last season.

The report of the independent auditors to the members of BDO Enterprises Limited drew attention to the significant losses which ‘cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue’.

The BDO board stated at the foot of the financial report that it ‘recognises the risks associated with continuing operations’ but is continuing to work at arranging sponsorship deals and TV coverage for scheduled tournaments in 2020.

The final factor in Jacklin’s decision to resign looks to be the late cancellation of the Torremolinos Festival of Darts due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

It is unclear who will take over as Chairman, though three-time World Champion Martin Adams (63) is rumoured to be in the frame.

Prize Fund confirmed for 2020 BDO World Darts Championship

The prize fund for the 2020 BDO World Championship has finally been confirmed, with the men’s total slashed by almost 60 per cent and the ladies total decreased by ten per cent.

The 40 men and 16 women to have competed in last week’s tournament at Indigo at The O2 were left in the dark over how much prize money they would receive amid the uncertainty surrounding the BDO.

BDO Chairman Des Jacklin penned a letter to all competitors just days before the start of the tournament outlining that the prize fund would be significantly reduced, which he attributed to ‘toxicity’ on social media causing the promoters to be unable to attract a title sponsor.

Jacklin had promised earlier in the year that Women’s World Champion would pocket a record £20,000 top prize, an increase of £7,500 from 2019, but instead the winner will receive £10,000.

The ladies event has seen its prize fund reduced by nine per cent, a reduction less than first feared when a GoFundMe page was created in a bid to add to the total.

However, the men’s prize fund has suffered a devastating blow, with Wayne Warren receiving just £23,000 for his success, a 77 per cent reduction on what Glen Durrant took home for retaining the title 12 months ago.

Runner-up Jim Williams will pocket a mere £10,000 in comparison to last year’s £35,000, while losing semi-finalists receive just £5,000, ten thousand short of 2019’s offering.

In total, the men’s prize fund is down 58 per cent on last year with a total of £127,000, while the Ladies prize fund totals £26,500.

Jacklin sent a letter to all County members in the early hours of Wednesday morning on behalf of the BDO board, stating: “the last few weeks have been extremely difficult” and that “tough decisions had to be made.”

The board believed the World Championship to be a “success” despite just 15 per cent of tickets having been sold prior to the event – the first to be staged away from Lakeside in 33 years.

The letter goes on to state that the BDO has parted company with its commercial advisors Sportotal in a move its hopes will free up a considerable amount of expenditure in 2020 to allow for investment.

Though a title sponsor could not be secured for the World Championship, Jacklin insists he is in talks with “several companies” for the coming year which could lead to extra televised events.

A number of current and ex BDO players have aired their frustration on social media, including world finalist Jim Williams:

Former BDO world finalist Dave Whitcombe tweeted:

A plethora of current BDO players are set to try their hand at Qualifying School this week in an attempt to secure a coveted PDC Tour Card, including Jim Williams, Scott Waites, Andy Hamilton, David Evans, Michael Unterbuchner and Richard Veenstra, as well as Fallon Sherrock and Women’s World Champion Mikuru Suzuki.

BDO World Championship 2020 Prize Fund

Men’s Prize Fund
Winner: £23,000
Runner Up: £10,000
Semi-Final losers: £5,000
Quarter-Final losers: £4,000
Last 16 losers: £3,000
First Round losers: £2,000
Preliminary Round losers: £1,500

Women’s Prize Fund
Winner: £10,000
Runner up: £4,500
Semi-Final losers: £2,000
Quarter-Final losers: £1,000
Last 16 losers: £500

WDF announces it has ceased to recognise BDO tournaments

The World Darts Federation has announced it will no longer recognise British Darts Organisation operated tournaments with immediate effect.

The WDF released a damning letter addressed to its members stating it “will not recognise BDO operated tournaments”, citing a breach of rules and draw changes which occurred at the recent World Masters.

As a result, now the BDO has been downgraded to Associate Member status, meaning it is no longer the governing body for darts in the country.

The letter, dated December 1, states: ‘The WDF Executive has concluded that we cannot be a part of or support such activities and does not endorse the actions of the BDO.

‘With rule changes as well as draw changes during their competition there is opportunity for alleged violations to be construed as match fixing.

‘This situation could place our member country organisations and their players in a compromising position.

‘The WDF refuses to be associated with such actions.’

The letter ends by stating the WDF is in the process of implementing a global circuit which will see WDF major events made through their own ranking systems.

This could potentially jeapoardise the future of major BDO tournaments formerly recognised by the WDF, including the World Championship and World Masters.

BDO Chairman Des Jacklin responded by hastily posting a statement on Facebook which read:

Jacklin has since written a letter to the BDO counties stating December 3 was the first contact he had with the WDF over the issue and that the WDF have ‘acted purely on information gathered from social media and hearsay.’

He then accused the WDF of being ‘unlawful’ and ‘trying to kill the company’ and revealed the matter is now in the hands of a solicitor.

The news comes as another blow to the BDO, which announced earlier this year it was to leave Lakeside after 33 years, as well as losing its entire refereeing team and long-term brand partner Winmau.

Ticket sales are said to have slumped for January’s World Championship at London’s O2 Indigo, with less than 2,000 sold across the entire tournament so far.

The World Darts Federation, formed in 1974, is the official governing body, which encourages the promotion of the sport in an effort to gain international recognition for darts.