THE Interlink Express has rolled in … and the Crown Ground is officially no more.
Accrington Stanley have signed a three-year sponsorship deal - belie-ved to be worth £20,000 a year - to rename their ground the Interlink Express Stadium.
The shock move, which was revealed this week, will take a lot of getting used to for the Stanley faithful.
The Reds have been at the Crown Ground since the late 1960s, when the club was re-formed following Accrington's resignation from the Football League.
Chairman Eric Whal-ley knows he faces a tricky task to get the name to stick, but says he is confident it is a step in the right direction for the Nationwide Conference newcomers. "The last few seasons have been fantastic but there is still much work to be done," he said.
"This is a major sponsorship deal that will further assist us to develop the stadium as we work towards the ultimate goal of a return to the Football League. Burnden Park was replaced by the Reebok, Springfield Park soon became the JJB - so the name should stick."
Explaining that from now on they would no longer refer to it as the Crown Ground in any capacity, he added: "It is now the Interlink Stadium. Stanley moved from Peel Park, where all the history began, to the Crown Ground and now we are moving on again. It's just progress. Most people just refer to it as 'going to Stanley' anyway. The deal will be a good source of regular income to the club."
Whalley will use some of the money to develop the far side of the ground with a new stand, a gymnasium and catering facilities to be used by the club and the community.
He said: "We hope to have that done in three years and this money will play a part in doing this."
Graham Charnley, owner of Interlink Express North East's Lancashire distribution centre, is a Stanley fan.
He said: "The association and the re-naming of the Crown Ground to the Interlink Express Stadium provides vital funding to the football club in its quest to regain Football League status. It also gives us a firm foundation in continuing to be one of the UK's leading parcel carriers. We are very happy that we have put a unique brand alongside that of a unique name in the football world."