Paul Anderson hopes suspended season won’t foil Wembley dream with Northampton Town

Paul Anderson is hoping the ongoing coronavirus won’t cost him a chance of fulfilling his dream of a Wembley appearance.
Paul Anderson's contract with Northampton Town expires in May. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images EMN-200318-131243002Paul Anderson's contract with Northampton Town expires in May. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images EMN-200318-131243002
Paul Anderson's contract with Northampton Town expires in May. Picture: Pete Norton/Getty Images EMN-200318-131243002

The Northampton Town winger is one of many professional footballers out of contract in May and June and facing an uncertain summer.

But with contracts as they stand, many such EFL footballers will be ineligible to play for their parent clubs if the season is pushed back and completed in the summer months.

“My contract finishes in May which would be straight after the play-off final so if the season gets delayed I have no idea what happens or how it will affect me,” Anderson said.

“I literally have no idea as to what the situation is going to be over the next few months.

“In League One and League Two I would estimate 50 per cent of players will be out of contract because, generally, you will not get more than a two-year deal in the lower leagues.

“So some players will be coming to the end of a two-year deal, and a lot only get a one-year deal which will end in June so I really don’t know what’s going to happen.

“The football clubs are still paying wages during the lockdown, so are they going to pay players to do nothing? It’s a difficult situation.”

The Melton pro’s contract is up a few days after the scheduled League Two play-off final date in May which will have to move if the season eventually resumes.

But he is keen to help the Cobblers all the way to the showpiece match.

Anderson has come tantalisingly close to his Wembley debut in his 14-year professional career, having lost in the Championship play-off semi-finals twice with Nottingham Forest and once more with Ipswich.

“We are sat in the play-off positions and from a selfish point of view I’d like to finish the season because I’ve never played at Wembley and we have a great chance of getting there,” he added.

“I want to get cracking and want to do it with the fans watching rather than play behind closed doors. It is their sport.

“But if that’s not an option then for me I would like to get this season done, hopefully with promotion, and then start next season whenever it comes.”

Yet in the current national emergency, the 32-year-old’s first thoughts are away from football.

“Of course, the health and safety of everyone beats everything right now,” he added.

“Our sacrifices are nothing compared to what NHS staff are facing.”