BLACKBURN Rovers will have the name Crown Paints on the front of their shirts from next season after the club has struck a lucrative new sponsorship deal.

The company, based in Darwen, has agreed to become Rovers' new main sponsor in a three-year deal which could be worth £4m-£5m, depending on how the team performs.

The move by Crown marks a return to top flight football after more than 20 years away from the game.

Howard Luft, managing director of Crown Paints, said: "A large part of our Darwen workforce are Rovers supporters and I know they will be delighted with this announcement."

Rovers chairman, John Williams, said: "This deal gives us the opportunity to work with a major national brand with the added benefit of a strong local connection."

Crown used to sponsor Liverpool in the 1980s, at a time when the Reds were the most dominant force in European football.