In one of the clearest signs yet that football has left its working class roots far behind, Waitrose has become the first national supermarket chain to sponsor a major football club.

Waitrose has a agreed a one-year deal, believed to be worth £1.5m, with Championship outfit Reading FC.

As well as having the Waitrose name emblazoned on the club's shirts, Reading season ticket holders will be targeted with special offers.

The supermarket's food will also be available at the football club's stadium and conference rooms.

"This exciting deal will help us engage with our customers in a way we haven't before and give the brand a much broader exposure on both a local and national level," said Waitrose commercial director, Richard Hodgson.

"We're looking forward to realising the potential of this partnership in the year ahead."

Reading's ground is based just 11 miles from Waitrose's headquarters and distribution centre in Bracknell, Berkshire.