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Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

BDO chief Olly Croft is 'working on' PDC's takeover bid

By Stephan Shemilt
BBC Sport at the Lakeside

Martin Adams
Martin Adams beat Dave Chisnall to win the 2010 BDO World Championship

British Darts Organisation chief Olly Croft says he is "working on" a takeover offer from rival organisation the Professional Darts Corporation.

PDC head Barry Hearn had an offer of £1m plus a further £1m to invest in the game rejected by Croft in October.

But Croft has now told BBC Sport: "My opinion is that it has no substance but we are working on it.

"We want to know what's behind it before we can move forward but you won't get a decision overnight."

Darts has been divided since 1993 when 16 players chose to leave the BDO and form what is now the PDC.

The split now sees both organisations stage their own versions of the world championship, with the BBC covering the BDO's event at the Lakeside and Sky televising the PDC's showpiece, which is currently held at Alexandra Palace.

As well as the £2m cash, Hearn also offered to honour all existing contracts currently in place with sponsors, venues and the BBC.

Croft, who turned 80 in November, added: "He's offering money - where is that money coming from? Has he got it or is it coming from investors? If investors put money in they will want a return.


"If he takes 100% control, what will happen to our officials and board of directors?

"Our property is worth more than what he's offered and we want to know what he wants to do with the second £1m he's offered."

Croft initially said that his organisation was "not for sale" and that the offer was "nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt" but now seems to have been forced into a change of heart by the individual counties that go to make up the BDO.

"Our original offer has not been considered properly," Hearn told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I understand that the county organisations that own the BDO have instructed the BDO to commence negotiations.

"I want to buy it all so I control all of it. I want to sling everybody else out and make sure it's all done properly instead of just owning the PDC.

"I can't afford to have my market place polluted by a poor case of commercial exploitation.

"You've got to make sure that the market is controlled so that you deliver a standard product, and their product is not good enough."

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see also
Adams beats Chisnall to BDO title
10 Jan 10 |  Darts
Champion Adams eyes title defence
11 Jan 10 |  Darts
Chisnall vows to be BDO champion
11 Jan 10 |  Darts
Taylor completes darts grand slam
12 Oct 09 |  Darts
Webster sets up Taylor showdown
01 Jan 10 |  Darts
BBC extends Lakeside darts deal
03 Sep 09 |  Darts
BDO rejects Hearn's takeover bid
21 Oct 09 |  Darts
Kingmaker: Olly Croft
10 Jan 03 |  Other Sports
The great darts divide
11 Jan 10 |  World Darts Championship 2002
Darts results
12 Oct 00 |  Darts

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