By Chris Mason
6 FEBRUARY 2017 •10:25AM
The BDO World Championship last month was a success in terms of numbers, which was the feedback from both the broadcasters at the event.
I know Channel 4 and BT Sport were over the moon with the viewing figures, and the players absolutely loved they were getting some coverage and getting the respect they deserve.
But I always think back now to that offer PDC chairman Barry Hearn made to buy the BDO for £1 million in 2009.
In my opinion, I think rather than go away and look at what Barry wanted, they wouldn’t even listen to his proposals.
I’m sad about that. The BDO will always have a place in my heart, a lot of my mates still play in that system.
Obviously I cover the BDO on TV, whether it be on Dave or BT Sport. I want them to do well and I’ve always said I’d love to sit down with them and brainstorm.
I’ve got loads of ideas. 99 of them might be a waste of space, but one might be something that could work and give them the boost they need.
It’s great to see that the game is still attracting the youngsters.
Steve Brown’s got the JDC, he’s been over in Australia promoting the game.
That’s something what we need the BDO for. That’s the old route, I remember playing in the under-21s and the youths, but unfortunately they’ve just sort of lost their way a little bit.
I don’t know what’s going on. County in my opinion needs a complete restructure.
The PDC are more or less covering everything now. They’re involved heavily in Steve Brown’s concept, then they’ve got the Challenge Tour, the Development Tour, and I think the BDO needs to go away and listen to other people and come up with some innovative ideas to attract youth players.
We’ve got to look after the game. We can’t just sit back and think new players are just going to come off the conveyer belt.
What we have at the moment is down to the van Barneveld and Taylor eras really, in terms of the Dutch kids and the European players.
The next generation before that were looking at people like Bristow, Lowe and Jocky.
We’ve got to make sure we’ve got something there to continue it, and I’ve got nothing against what the BDO have done over the years.
Without them we wouldn’t have what we have now. I really want them to flourish and come up with something, maybe sit down and listen to other people’s ideas.
The BDO have players coming through like Jim Williams, Dean Reynolds, Nick Kenny and the new youth champion Justin van Tergouw.
Justin is darts mad. He is driven and dedicated. All I ever did was see him practicing at Lakeside, you can’t fault the young man.
Ultimately, everybody who ends up in the PDC have gone through the BDO, so they must be doing something right.
What they need to do is to somehow stop everybody jumping ship, which is why I was really pleased that Glen Durrant decided to stay put and defend the title at Lakeside next year.
I think it would have devalued it somewhat if he’d have just won it and walked away.
I’m really pleased for Glen and I’m really pleased not only for the BDO fans but for the BDO itself.
It’s important to have your champion on parade and take the trophy around and in less than 12 months’ time to come back and defend it. It deserves that honour.