Reigning BDO World Champion Wayne Warren is adamant he will not hand back the World Championship trophy as the BDO’s commercial arm prepares to enter liquidation.
Warren, 58, became BDO World Champion for the first time at London’s Indigo at The O2 in January and picked up the lowest winner’s cheque in over 30 years.
The Welshman received just £23,000 for his efforts, a £77,000 reduction on the first prize won by Glen Durrant 12 months earlier.
Warren previously described his World Championship win as “a nightmare not a dream” and has been openly critical of BDO Chairman Des Jacklin.
Last month, it was revealed the BDO’s commercial branch – British Darts Organisation Enterprises Ltd – had announced its intention to file for liquidation.
That liquidation is now imminent, effectively marking the end of a 40-year era and brings the curtain down on historic tournaments such as the World Masters and World Championship.
It is unclear as to the fate of the prestigious trophies, and Warren has vowed to hold on to his silverware until he receives the money he feels he is owed.
He wrote on Facebook: ‘Until I get what’s owed to me, that trophy won’t be going nowhere I can assure you of that.’
Another comment from the wife of reigning World Masters champion John O’Shea read: ‘John will be keeping the World Masters Trophy along with you.’
Earlier this month, a new amateur darts organisation ‘MAD’ was announced, headed 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.
Wayne Warren has described his World Championship prize money as “gutting” and has opened up on his decision to opt out of Qualifying School.
Warren, 57, became BDO World Champion for the first time at London’s Indigo at The O2 in January, the first staging of the tournament to be held away from Lakeside in over 30 years.
The Welsh veteran overcame his compatriot Jim Williams in the final, and with the prize fund unconfirmed at the time of lifting the trophy, later discovered he would receive just £23,000 for his success.
The overall prize fund was slashed by almost 60 per cent for the men’s tournament and ten per cent for the ladies event.
Warren’s paycheque marked a £77,000 reduction on Glen Durrant’s prize in 2019, and the Rhondda thrower has spoken out on his frustration at receiving the lowest winner’s cheque since 1989.
“We knew things weren’t right by a mile,” admitted Warren, speaking to Red Dragon Darts.
“The prestige is winning the trophy, simple. But once you’ve lifted that cup you think about the money.
“I didn’t know what money I was going to get.
“I heard various different figures but when I actually had the figure told to me, it was gutting really.
“I’ve got the cup now and that’s it really, you’ve just got to get on with it.”
Warren was among the initial list of entries for PDC Qualifying School, which began just four days after the conclusion of the BDO World Championship.
However, he took the late decision to opt out of a trip to Wigan in an attempt to secure a Tour Card, citing fatigue and the mental impact of the BDO prize money situation.
“I came back from The O2 and to be honest I was mentally and physically tired,” added Warren.
“I phoned my manager and I said about not going and he said ‘sit down and have a think about it’, which I was doing.
“Then I had an email about the money situation and to be honest, in my head, it was pointless me going up there.
“I can’t go to a tournament like that, especially a big one like Q School.
“Then I thought to myself, I need to generate money from that cup [BDO World Championship] so I’m going to be as busy as I can this year.
“I just didn’t want to do the tour, I can’t do the two together.
“PDC next year? Maybe.
“I hope it’s going to be a very busy year, that’s my plan, to push in as much work as I can.
“I’ll do the odd couple of tournaments but it won’t be as it was last year, no way.”
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of the BDO, a recent Board statement signalled its intention to continue in 2020 and beyond, including hosting the 2021 World Championship.
Meanwhile, the WDF recently announced it is set to host a new World Championship style event, and Warren insists it is crucial for the grass roots level of the sport to have its own recognised World Champion.
“It’s an absolute must,” he added. “Whether the WDF will carry it on… I don’t know what’s happening with the BDO.
“At the end of the day, it’s a workingman’s game that everyone was brought up on and if you take that away then I think darts in general would take a backward step.
“When you see these top professionals with the PDC, I think a lot of the BDO players will be afraid and I think it will be the end of darts as an amateur darts.”
Wayne Warren became the oldest winner of a World Darts Championship as he claimed BDO glory courtesy of a 7-4 victory over fellow Welshman Jim Williams in the final.
Warren, 57, secured a fairy-tale first success on the O2 Indigo stage as he recovered from 2-0 down to win seven of the next nine sets for glory.
A Rhondda roofer by day, Warren etched his name into the darting history books by eclipsing Martin Adams’ (54) record as the oldest World Darts Champion.
“This is only a dream, I can’t believe it,” admitted an emotional Warren.
“It’s massive, honest to god I tried my hardest tonight and all week.
“Jim and I are great mates and I think he will be world champion multiple times. This might have been my last chance.”
The first-ever all-Welsh BDO World final proved to be one-way traffic in the early stages as second seed Williams clinched the opening set 3-1 before surviving three missed darts from his compatriot to snatch the second in a decider.
Set three followed suit, but this time it was Warren who pinched it on double one to get off the mark and halve the deficit.
Williams was then left to rue key missed chances of his own as Warren held his nerve in a fourth set decider to restore parity, before overturning a 2-0 deficit in set five to move ahead for the first time in the match.
Williams responded strongly and landed a bull checkout on the way to rubber-stamping set six in consecutive legs, but only for Warren to quickly hit back to level terms.
Warren then squandered two darts to open up a two-set cushion as Williams seized his reprieve to make it four-all.
A 121 checkout on the bull helped Warren on his way to a 5-4 advantage and a run of five consecutive legs saw the veteran coast two clear for the first time.
Set eleven went to a decider, and with Williams poised on 38, Warren held his nerve to sink tops for the title.
Warren becomes the first Welshman to lift the world title since Mark Webster in 2008 and the fourth thrower from the Valleys to claim the crown, joining Leighton Rees and Richie Burnett.
Williams, who was beaten by eventual champion Glen Durrant in last year’s Semi-Finals, admitted: “It’s nice to be part of it but obviously I’m gutted.
“I couldn’t wish for a nicer guy to win it.
“I lost a bit of focus and you can’t do that against Wayne. The better guy won on the day.”
The tournament was the first to be staged at London’s Indigo at The O2 and was shrouded in uncertainty in the build-up, with Fallon Sherrock withdrawing from the women’s competition and the announcement of a reduced prize fund due to lack of sponsorship and poor ticket sales.
BDO Chairman Des Jacklin was not present on stage for the trophy presentations and both the men’s and women’s prize funds remain unconfirmed.
— Live Darts (@livedarts) January 12, 2020