1. ITV Report

Ipswich Town fans start petition to keep derby hero Anderson at Portman Road

Paul Anderson hasn't been offered a new deal. Photo: PA

Ipswich Town fans are so upset at the club's decision to release derby day goalscorer Paul Anderson, that they've started a petition to keep him at the club.

Anderson was one of five players not to be offered new contracts following Town's play-off semi-final defeat to Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Striker Noel Hunt is also being allowed to leave Portman Road. Credit: PA

Noel and Stephen Hunt, as well as Darren Ambrose and on loan midfielder Richard Chaplow are the other players to have been told that they can leave Portman Road.

But it seems that supporters are particularly riled by the fact that 26-year-old winger Anderson is heading for the exit door, and many have taken matters into their own hands by trying to persuade manager Mick McCarthy to have a change of heart.

Paul Anderson celebrates scoring against Norwich City. Credit: PA

Anderson has become a fans' favourite in Suffolk, especially after he scored his side's equaliser in the first leg of the semi-final against Norwich.

Over 500 people have signed a petition demanding that Anderson stays at the club, and they've even given reasons why it's a mistake to let him leave.

The reasons for renewing Anderson's contract according to the petition

  • During the 2014/15 season, Paul Anderson achieved 7 assists. More than any other Ipswich Town player.
  • Paul Anderson enjoys an excellent relationship with the fans, making him one of a number of players who have re-connected Ipswich Town supporters with the team after years in the wilderness.
  • During the play-off semi-final against Norwich, Paul Anderson scored the equaliser at Portman Road, meaning that it was all to play for in the second leg.
  • One of the main criticisms of Ipswich Town this season has been a lack of width. Anderson is one of very few players at the club capable of genuinely offering that.
  • Anderson is a versatile player. When called upon this season, he has dutifully filled in at right-midfield, left-midfield, winger and full back. No doubt he'd be willing to try his hand at other positions if required.
  • He is a passionate player who is vocal about his love of the club. This is rare in modern football.

Incidentally, McCarthy hasn't yet ruled out giving any of the five players a new deal later in the summer but did admit that the club aren't in a position to offer any of them anything at the present time.

“Of the ones out of contract, we have released Elliott Hewitt and I’ve told Ando, Darren Ambrose, Chappers, Stephen Hunt and Noel that we won’t be offering them anything at the moment.

I’m going away on holiday, they are going away and I’ve told them I want to see what is around. They will be doing the same as well. There is an element of freshening things up. We need to go again and you need fresh faces to do that so we will see what happens with those lads.

I have not closed the door on those players. They are great lads. We might be good for them. They might be good for us but there is nothing happening with them at the moment.”

– Mick McCarthy, Ipswich Town manager
Jay Tabb has signed a new contract with the club. Credit: PA

Defender Elliott Hewitt has definitely been released by Town, but midfielder Jay Tabb has had his contract extended.