Barry Hearn says the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) are prepared to help the grassroots game, subject to an organisation putting a workable plan in front of him.
The PDC chairman, speaking to the Weekly Dartscast, discussed the prospect of the PDC working together with the British Darts Organisation (BDO) and/or the World Darts Federation (WDF).
“The big problem you’ve got, let’s be realistic, is that none of them have got any money,” Hearn said.
“They haven’t got working capital. A strength of the PDC is that we run a profitable business, a sustainable business.
“Yes, we’ve done amazing things with the prize money. It’s gone, in my time, from £500,000 a year to £16 million, which is great.
“We could have gone bigger, but we didn’t because we run a proper, sustainable business.
“We can finance disasters like the Coronavirus. When you look at the BDO, I’m not going to criticise the BDO, they are what they are. And I’m not going to criticise the WDF, their heart’s in the right place.
“But they don’t have any money, because they haven’t run a business that has put aside (money) and run it properly, so that they’ve got a sustainable operation.
“All I know is we are there to help, and that is a genuine offer, subject to them showing us that they can run a proper business.
“Once this epidemic has passed, there is going to be a backlog of not just my sports, I’m involved in 12 different sports now, but there’s a hundred sports out there.
“There’s going to be a backlog of events, an awful lot of competition for sponsors, for broadcast hours. We have long-term deals in place with most major broadcasters globally, we will have a certain amount of protection because of our size and our reputation.
“Unfortunately, the BDO don’t and the WDF has no commercial expertise at all. That’s not being cruel, that’s just being accurate, which is why we’ve said to the WDF, in principle, we’d like to help.
“We think a strong grassroots business globally is important to our success in the long term. It certainly spreads the gospel of darts, and we’d like to help, but I’ve yet to see a plan put in front of me that is workable.”
Listen to the full interview with PDC chairman Barry Hearn via the player below