The tournament director of the England Darts Organisation has admitted that ‘things did go wrong’ after they received criticism for how they ran last weekend’s double header in Selsey.
It was not until around 2.30am in the early hours of Saturday morning that play in the men’s England National Championship finished, with several players deciding to pull out midway through the tournament because of how far behind schedule it was.
Jean Haywood, the tournament director of the EDO, said in a lengthy online post on Monday: “Deliberately stayed off here all weekend, read all the complaints, listened to several of them whilst I was in Selsey.
“Got abused, shouted and screamed at, had bottles thrown in venue by disgruntled players, another player picked up the sheets on control, screwed them up after verbally abusing officials.
“Had a player collapse, really happy he’s ok but is the drink spiked a rumour?
“Darts used to be fun and good natured played by people in a sporting and really friendly good humoured manner, what the hell happened.
“Yes there is money at stake and it has moved on, our officials are all hard working.
“The EDO did apologise from the stage, hold our hands up, things did go wrong. Some which we can and will be held to account for, but for goodness sake, step back, take a rational view and move on.
“Great pity is it’s only three months since the IOM and we were the best thing since sliced bread, what a difference a day makes.
“I did receive apologies from some people who in the cold light of day admitted that they had lost it. I totally understand but suffice to say if you are sorry you make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“If it does then you need to be prepared to take the consequences.
“As long as I am tournament director no one is getting away with abusing officials who work their socks off for darts.”
Second seed Jamie Hughes pulled out of the tournament on Friday before his first game, as players faced lengthy waits to play.
After winning his first two games, Ross Montgomery was another player to pull out. He posted online: “Had to walk away at last 64 totally drained. Nothing to do with alcohol had three bottles of water and a couple but was shattered.”
With an early start scheduled for the next day’s category A event, the England Open, there were cases where players retired during their match in order to be better prepared for the Saturday.
During Saturday’s play, the EDO’s live stream on YouTube was taken down several times, with it alleged to have been a group of people contacting the video-sharing website and complaining about copyright issues.
“The EDO did apologise from the stage and we held our hands up”
Tommy Thompson, the chairman of the EDO, has said the incident will mean an end to their events being streamed on YouTube.
“We had someone or a number of people who contacted YouTube, to say there were copyright issues with our streaming on Saturday,” he said in a post online this week.
“The streaming was closed down by YouTube, three separate times until they could investigate whether there was any truth in it.
“We will now pay for our own TV channel to stop any repeat of this in the future. This money however has to be taken out of our funds to protect your organisation.”