Sunday 22 April 2018

Welsh redbit

Not sure anyone saw a Price/Clayton final coming, but that's what we got and it was the Ferret that came out on top, binking his second ranking title and locking up a spot in all of the majors for the rest of the season, which'll allow him to more than consolidate a top 32 in the world spot. Having to do it the hard way in overcoming Mensur Suljovic in the semi final, having already defeated Hopp, Wade and White, this is absolutely deserved.

New FRH rankings:

1 Michael van Gerwen
2 Rob Cross
3 Peter Wright
4 Phil Taylor
5 Gary Anderson
6 Daryl Gurney
7 Mensur Suljovic
8 Michael Smith
9 Simon Whitlock
10 Gerwyn Price (UP 1)
11 Dave Chisnall (DOWN 1)
12 Ian White
13 James Wade
14 Darren Webster (UP 1)
15 Raymond van Barneveld
16 Alan Norris
17 Kim Huybrechts
18 Jonny Clayton (NEW)
19 Joe Cullen (DOWN 1)
20 Jelle Klaasen (DOWN 1)

Adrian Lewis gets bumped from the list after only just getting back in, and isn't even next in line now after Benito van de Pas and Mervyn King have overtaken him. Not a huge deal of significant movement lower down, Wayne Jones is up to #90, while there's no less than six players who played this weekend that are within fifteen spots of hitting the top 100.

A short update, but something interesting to consider as a bonus subject - Burton mentioned on Twitter this week during the Premier League that McDonald wasn't mentioning Unibet as the Premier League sponsor at all, which is seemingly due to local Dutch laws regarding gambling sponsorship. The question posed is this - if the government were to lose their mind and ban gambling sponsorship in the UK tomorrow, would the PDC (or, for that matter, Matchroom as a whole) see out the year without going broke?

Let's look at the PDC's current sponsor lineup:

Yep, that's six different bookmakers and an online casino. Amazing level of diversity. But does anyone have any sort of brand loyalty to a single bookmaker? I'd certainly hope they don't - I'll bet wherever has the best price. I can't think of any of these that have stayed with a given tournament for long enough to establish any sort of connection with the tournament. The world snooker (now also run by team Hearn) will always be known as the Embassy to me. The English one day cricket cup will always be the Benson and Hedges. I've not watched Formula One in years, but if you asked me which brand I'd most associate with, say, Ferrari, I'd say Marlboro. I couldn't tell you who sponsors any of those any more, but it's been over 15 years since tobacco advertising went away and it shows how well the new sponsors have caught on. Would it really be that hard for Matchroom to get a bit of insurance and have something other than a bookie sponsor their tournaments? Singha certainly used to sponsor the Grand Slam (not that you can buy the thing anywhere), Cash Converters used to cover (I think) the Players Championship, surely darts is at the level of interest that they can look to attract more mainstream sponsorship deals? I'll leave that one for you all to discuss.

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