Gerwyn Price is not a fan of the Premier League darts new format, calling it unequal and too much for the players.
The hugely popular darting roadshow has undergone a major revamp this season. Out has gone the old format of players playing once a week in a league format. Now, each night sees a mini tournament with quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final.
The night winner secures five points, plus a £10,000 bonus, with the runner-up picking up three and the losing semi-finalists earning two each. The goal remains to finish inside the top four in the league which will secure a place in the play-offs. Berlin will host this year’s finals night in June.
The change of format has gone down well with fans, who get to see more of their favourite players in action. But it hasn’t gone down well with Price, who told Online Darts TV this week: “I’m not a fan of it. To play three games in a night, plus going and playing in Pro Tours… It’s not just about that night, it’s everything that goes with it as well, it’s a little bit too much.
“And if you’re going to do that format, it needs to be a little bit more fair. I think out of the 16 weeks, I’m only on Peter’s [Wright] side of the draw twice, I’m on Michael’s [van Gerwen] side of the draw eight/nine times. I wouldn’t be fair if someone was on Peter’s side of the draw 10/11 times.
“If it is going to be that format, it needs to be more equal. And if people miss weeks, like I did with injury, you can’t catch up, you just lose points. So I think they should just go back to the old format, one game a night. I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think you can do it fair either.”
Price says the increased number of matches in one night adds to an already relentless tour schedule. As result, he intends to pick and choose his events over the summer.
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“I think it’s too much for the players to play all those games on a Premier League night. In Premier League football or rugby, you wouldn’t see teams having three games in one night,” added Price, a former rugby player.
“It is too many tournaments. I’m going to miss a lot of ranking events. I’m going to miss one or two of the Europeans [events] coming up. I don’t think I going to go to Graz [for the Austrian Darts Open] next week, I’m going to miss some Pro Tours [events], that’s basically because it’s too much and I’m literally, with an [hand] injury, burning myself out.
“You feel obliged to go to every tournament, chase ranking points, but I’ve realised now that you can’t do that. Once the Premier League’s over, you recharge the batteries and look forward to the big ranking events that are coming up at the end of the year.
“I love the Premier League and would love to get to the play-offs but sometimes you haven’t got the motivation. Don’t get me wrong, the crowd doesn’t help, certain things don’t help when you’re playing week in, week out.”
Price is currently in sixth spot, seven points off the play-offs, and face Joe Cullen in the quarter-finals in Dublin on Thursday.
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