Blackburn Rovers left without shirt sponsor

Blackburn Rovers Football Club has been left without a shirt sponsor for next season, following a last minute decision by paint company Dulux to withdraw from a deal worth &£1.5m a year.

Dulux was forced to pull out of the deal after parent company ICI issued a profit warning at the end of March, leading to the resignation of chief executive Brendan O’Neill. His successor John McAdam promised that his first task would be to continue a cost-reduction review announced in March.

An industry source says: “The club was within touching distance of the deal with Dulux, but it all fell through following the company’s terrible quarterly results.”The club, which has qualified for the UEFA Cup, is now said to be desperate to find a sponsor before the beginning of June. Football clubs usually have sponsorship deals in place by the summer so they can manufacture shirts and merchandise for the following season.

Meanwhile, Leicester City Football Club is set to unveil Alliance & Leicester as its shirt sponsor. An industry insider says that lawyers for both parties are finalising details on a &£1m, two-year deal. He adds that the club made a last-minute about-turn on an agreed sponsorship package with gambling company Bluesquare in order to link-up with the bank.

The club has a long-standing connection with Alliance & Leicester, which sponsored a charity football match last week between Leicester City and a team made up from the casts of TV soap operas Brookside and Hollyoaks.

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