The British darts association BDO ceases to exist after more than 47 years. The association that once organised the most beautiful and prestigious darts tournament in the world with the Embassy in the Lake Side Country Club has been in dire financial straits for some time now.
The last BDO World Darts Championship in January of this year was only a meagre reflection of what it once was. An atmospheric event, with the lowest prize pool in thirty years.
England is considered the cradle of darts, with the Embassy as an annual highlight until the beginning of this century. The tournament where champions like Eric Bristow, Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld became living legends. And in which also a young Michael van Gerwen participated.
Big money at PDC
The BDO lost more and more prestige in recent years, because many top darters switched to the PDC, a new organisation where it was big money to be made.
In recent months, the regional unions in England also turned their backs on BDO, to join the competing organisation UKDA. In fact, the once illustrious BDO was nothing more than an empty shell when the last regions made the switch this week.
After months of denying in its own reporting that the end was in sight, the British Darts Organisation now announces that the curtain has fallen.
Lakeside, the location where the Embassy was held, is still seen as The Home of Darts. Raymond van Barneveld won there four times, when the tournament still had the status of a world championship. In 2006 Jelle Klaasen showed herself to be the strongest of a then still strong field of competitors. In 2012, when Christian Kist claimed the title, that field was already greatly reduced.