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The Rumour Mill – Gary Hooper

Gary Hooper in action for Celtic

What is it with this club being linked to Celtic players? I recall doing a piece on The Bhoys' promising youngster Victor Wanyama last year, and only recently were Newcastle allegedly on the prowl for their centre back Kelvin Wilson.

Adding to this supposed Scotland fetish is striker Gary Hooper, who has enjoyed a fine season for the Glasgow-based side who look set to secure an unsurprising domestic double.

The 25 year old has netted 28 goals in all competitions in the 2012/13 campaign, including four in a historic Champions League run for his club. The front man clearly has a knack of hitting the jackpot.

Despite maturing into a key figure for Celtic since joining from Scunthorpe United, his future north of the border is very much in the balance. It has been rumoured that Hooper has refused to commit his future in the SPL, signalling alarm bells for various Premier League sides. Some of you may recall Norwich City making countless bids for the striker in the January transfer window, which, though  were all unsuccessful, would have certainly left the thought of the English top tier lingering in Hooper’s mind.

No doubt, the goal return he has accumulated for his current club is excellent. But, as I usually do, the standard of the league he’s playing in must be scrutinised. Following Rangers’ revival in the Scottish Third Division, many on social media sites were quick to crack the “Celtic FC – 2013 Scottish Champions” joke before the league had even started. Though an undeniable dose of verbal slapstick, it does go some way to telling you that the SPL is a bit….well, crap.

With that in mind, we must be cautious when looking at figures on a screen. 79 goals in 133 games. That’s all well and good in the Premier League, the Bundesliga, or La Liga, but how can we interpret whether he’d make the grade following such a huge step-up in standards?

One thing’s for sure, I’d disapprove if the Magpies adopted a Norwich City stance, who seemed to keep clumsily augmenting their price all the way up to £7m+. I can assure you, a club with such high levels of scouting can do better with that kind of money. Perhaps this is all very ambiguous of me, but it’s early doors.

If he’s willing, available on a decent price, and Carr-approved, then a bid should be welcomed. For now, as we often must do at this stage of the season, we must wait to see how things pan out.

42 Comments on The Rumour Mill – Gary Hooper

  1. Typical comment from yet another Sky Brainwashee, no one north of the border claims that the SPL is anything other than what it is,but ffs, this comment coming from a NUFC supporter, who are you? what have you won in the last 50 years? you claim to be a BIG club! don’t make me laugh,you may be that in the North East of England, but you are a joke by the time you hit Yorkshire.The Scottish leagues may not produce the quality of yesteryear like Dalglish, Strachan, McAllister et al,but when was the last time your lot had a world beater? Shearer? oh aye, he won you lots of stuff didn’t he? made you the best team in the NE, that about sums it up, he was a better player at Blackburn and far better with England. Sooner or later the Russian oligarchs, arab billionaires and your own Mike Ashley will get bored with this ownership lark whilst Sky TV may get rumbled that the product is crap and then where will you be? the Isthmian league or somewhere glamorous like that.
    Celtic from the tinpot backwater SPL have recently contested a European final along with making the CL last 16 three times whilst winning domestically, who south of the border outside of the real big clubs, can say the same? Get a grip, potentially great players can have humble beginnings anywhere, that doesn’t make them inferior, the likes of Hooper, Wanyama, Forster and Ledley will be real stars in a couple of years, my only hope is they don’t end up at NUFC where they will win sod all.

    • “Sky brainwashee” pmsl….fe*kin spot on m8 lol…..HH

    • That European final that you’re referring to was in 2003, by the way. 10 years ago cannot really be described as ‘recently’.

      Secondly, in reference to your “unending glory”, and qualifying for the Champions League, I think you have much estimations of your team that you deserve. The Champions League qualification in itself sounds highly impressive in writing, but I think you’re failing to mention the quality of the teams around you in the league.

      When Inverness Caledonian Thistle, a team who would probably struggle to hold their own in the Championship, are finishing third, you have to question the difficulty of actually doing well in Scotland. Ever since you shamedly voted Rangers out of the league, Scottish football will never be the same.

      Yes, you are the best team in Scotland and you probably will continue to win silverware over the coming years, but it is quite frankly ridiculous to compare winning the SPL to playing in the Premier League for one of its most well supported clubs.

      • Yawn !! Yawn!! Yawn!! Take all of the non English managers and players and foreign sugar daddies! out of this one horse , occasionally two horse race league and it will be back to The Big Match Revisited days!!!! show some respect for all the Scots who managed and played all these super teams? to any past trophies !!

      • I think the editor needs editing….or possibly just educating. Rangers were not voted out of the league. Rangers went out of business. Celtic and all other SPL clubs, with the exception of the dying club (through the administrators) and Kilmarnock, voted to act in accordance with the rules and not allow a newly formed club into the SPL.

      • Doctor Pat // April 27, 2013 at 2:58 pm //

        Harry, as an “Editor” your job should be to look at things objectively. You are coming across as a spoilt wee boy, who has stuck his fingers in his ears and shouts “lah lah lah” just so he doesn’t have to listen to a reasonable retort.
        Not once did you reply to Jasbhoy about what your team has won in the last 50, YES, 50 years. Can you answer that question please?
        Why did you refer to Inverness when the topic is Gary Hooper? By introducing that little gem, you totally undermined your own argument. If a team like Celtic can produce great runs in the Champions league, whilst plying their domestic trade against mediocre teams in the SPL, does that not give an indication as to their potential for progress, or does qualifying through to the last 16 in Europe, via teams like Barcelona, Spartak Moscow and Benfica,(remember them!) no count for anything?
        Also, can you show us all where Celtic and the other Scottish clubs “shamedly” voted Rangers out of the league? Even a little digging on google would let you know that Rangers were punished by the SFA as a result of going into Administration and, as a natural progression Liquidation. By virtue of the Liquidation, they lost their SFA membership, SPL membership and their right to play in the Scottish leagues, all this happened as a result of SFA rules on financial stability and regularity, which all clubs have to adhere to, and as such had to be voted back into the Scottish 4th tier as an associate member. So do not spout lies about the way Rangers met their end, as an “Editor” the very least you can do, is a little bit of background research on what you purport to be the truth.
        Your team is well supported, but so is Celtic.
        Your arguments come across as, quite frankly, immature and childish, the argument was about Hooper not being able to cut it in the EPL, when in fact he was outstanding in the Champions League. Or, by default in your analytical processes, do you think that even the Champions League is inferior to the EPL?
        It is this arrogance that wins your nation no friends in the International scene and leads us mere mortals to form the opinions we have about you collectively.
        Can you answer me one last question? if the EPL is such an outstanding breeding ground for English talent and prowess, why is your National team not winning major honours?

      • Doctor Pat,

        I would go further and say that Rangers were not punished by the SFA (s.f.a. is what the SFA normally do). As a direct result of going into liquidation, Rangers were in fact unable to continue as a member of the SPL. As such, there was a vacancy and the dying club tried to finagle a situation whereby a new club could take over the old club’s membership. As we both know, the vote was about playing by the rules and not allowing newco into the SPL. They should not even have been allowed into the 3rd division (not having 3 years accounts)>

      • The CL qualification is now derided because of the opposition? it’s the CL should that be derided, the fact that “champions” have to qualify and yet because an overrated EPL is swimming in Sky cash they get the 2nd to 4th place teams further into the competition, get a grip!
        Celtic or no one else voted Sevco out the SPL, they went bust, and in all honesty should not have been playing in the 4th tier as they did not have, and still don’t have, unlike more deserving clubs, signed off accounts. They cheated for years when spending money they never had and had no intention of paying back, so if you don’t know what went on north of the border keep your nose out.
        The fact that you are a well supported club makes your arguement meaningless, if the mugs,sorry NUFC fans, cough up c.£700 for a season ticket along with other match day merchandise then this extra income should see your club somewhere near the top, well you ain’t and probably won’t be for a long long time.
        BTW, you brag of having reached the dizzy heights of 5th place last season? woopdeedoo, your stupidity and gullibitity knows no

    • Could have used someone that scored goals today no matter which lower class league he comes from! Nobody managed to take that on today or against Sunderland for that matter. Maybe it’s time for Newcastle to step down a league so even they can shine in standards of goalscoring. Even Fraser Foster would have helped you out today despite the fact that he was only rated fourth on your books to be better than some of the performances since Krul got injured no matter who the opposition is SPL or CL…..

  2. Apologies, saw all the NUFC “adverts” down the right hand side, just noticed you are a Fulham supporter,now that is a sorry state to find yourself,lol.

  3. You dont have to worry for one moment if Newcastle could get Hooper for a reasonable price or not, because let’s face it why take a massive step backwards in your career by playing for a team who could potentially be relegated and who wont be playing with the big boys in the champions league playground EVER, and he wouldn’t need much of a trophy cabinet at Newcastle, ask alan shearer that, you concentrate on not getting pumpt by Sunderland to often.know your place in football, and Newcastle are a average to poor EPL team.

    • “an average to poor EPL team” – firstly, we are certainly not average to poor.

      Seeing as your fans continually seem to be living in the past and revisiting that ‘recent’ European Cup final, we could quite easily refer back to last season’s finish (5th place, in case you didn’t know).Yes, we haven’t found that form this season, but that’s part of the excitement of PL football. In Scotland, there’s no competition for the title and winning silverware is not hard.

      • OldRossCo // April 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm //

        The league table doesn’t lie. Poor EPL team.
        Fifth was last season. Your living in the past.
        They were smashed 6-0 by an average EPL team (Liverpool – Suarez).
        Good fans, underachieving team.

      • james hunter // April 28, 2013 at 11:26 am //

        Harry, harry harry, there is no competition in the E.P.L. Man. Utd won it at a canter , as far as competition goes the big race was trying to get into the top four for the Champions league, so wake up my son , ……………………….

  4. Regret i also suspected you of being a Newcastle fan, sorry for that, i wouldn’t wish that on anybody, so just extract the words Newcastle and replace with Fulham, and everythings prity much the same.

    • Take a good look at your team, average to poor!!!! Your team today versus an average Liverpool side were very very very poor.Championship beckons in the near future.

  5. Well here we go again about the lack of quality in the SPL. Well all I can say is Gary Hooper was the highest scoring Englishman in the UCL this season…huh, who would of thought eh? Lets weigh a few things up here…the SPL is a “one horse race” right? So who just won the self proclaimed best league in the world pmsl…at a canter on the same wk end the Hoops won their Championship?? Non other than the Red devils, the English Giants that got pumped out the UCL at the same stage as Celtic, not to mention all the other mediocre English clubs that pay outrageous wages to Europe’s pre-madonna’s. Which brings me to my last point – the EPL will begin their new ludicrous 1 billion pound Sky deal…fs, that’s all we need, more “silly money” to throw about at losers like Andy Carrol and that disgrace of a squad that is QPR….albeit its the foreigners that make the EPL look good…put the Englishmen together and they can hardly string 3 passes together lol We know Scotlands sh*te and most of that squad play in the EPL and Championship as well – Its about time you’s realised the EPL aint all that and no amount of million’s will change that…EVER!! A. Madrid v Chelsea springs to mind. The worst thing that ever happened in the history of European Football was that lot winning the UCL last season…anyway, we’re quite happy to compete in Europe and defeat the likes of Barca with a 10million pound squad, we must be doing something right!! HH

    • A few seasons ago, Gary Hooper scored more league goals at the bottom of the Championship for Scunthorpe than Andy Carroll did for Newcastle in the same league in the same season. Soon after that, Hooper to Celtic £2.5m; Carroll to Liverpool for, what? £30m?

      Says a lot about the EPL

  6. You sir are a class A james blunt!!!

  7. Yeah, to be honest I over reacted there. I do apologise if I caused any offence but I do not think it’s fair for you to compare your domestic success to ours because the leagues are admittedly so different. Furthermore, the fact that I’m editor does not restrict me to be being neutral or passive. It’s an opinion-based blog, and I certainly won’t restrain my views in order to fit in as ‘political’. Nonetheless, what I said was unreasonable, and I was only trying to stand up for my team, who I believe have been misrepresented on here by you lot. Apologies.

    • Harry, I’m confused as to which team you support but either way both Fulham and Newcastle are very average teams and wouldn’t get to last 16 of the Champions League and you know it ! Yes the SPL isn’t the best but you can only beat what’s put in front of you and it’s an absolute certainly Celtic would wipe the floor with Fulham and Newcastle if they were in the SPL ! Celtic are an absolutely massive club with a worldwide fan base and a proud history, yes we might live a little in the past but at least we have a history (and a trophy room) the star we wear proudly on our shirt is for being the first British team to win the European Cup, the only star Newcastle have ever had or ever will have is for Newcastle brown ale ! you quite clearly know very little about Celtic but get yourself to Parkhead on a European night and you might just find out how special Celtic Football Club really is !

  8. What is about Newcastle supporters and your hate of Celtic. If you lot would only concentrate on trying to win something (anything) rather than throw verbal attacks on our players, league and achievements. You really are a sad bunch of losers.

  9. Himanshu Dhingra // April 27, 2013 at 6:31 pm // Reply

    2-0 down at HT, crap, sack pardew now

  10. settingfreethebears // April 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm // Reply

    Harry and Lorenzo

    As a Celtic fan, I am quite chilled about your arrogance and ignorance. You see, we have faced it all my life. When we were the best team in Britain and Europe between 66 and 74 we still got this level of patronising comment from the uninformed.
    Wonder if we ever lost 6:0 to Liverpool?? No, we beat them over two legs the last time we had a chance. Nor have we lost 6:0 to Barca or Bayern or Real or Milan or Juve or Ajax- shall I go on.

    Therefore, you will forgive me for doubting that we would be certs to lose to the mighty Newcastle or Fulham. You guys should get out more and read more. Guys who failed to establish a guaranteed start at Celtic who are performing at EPL level- Fox, Hooveild, Maloney, Fortune and Ki Sung YuengYoung. Add to that Boruc and Caldwell.

  11. Putting my tin hat on to wade into this debate.

    As much as Celtic fans here are claiming they are a bigger club than Newcastle, the fact that settingfreethebears has bragged about Celtic not having lost too heavily to bigger clubs – as opposed to “won” – has “small club mentality” written all over it.

    Full credit to Celtic for their fantastic achievements in Europe this year – and I mean that, because they have done incredibly well. However, Celtic fans have to face up to the fact that winning the Scottish Premier League at the moment is as easy as it has been at any time since Alex Ferguson managed Aberdeen.

    Celtic’s history is without doubt draped in far more glory than Newcastle’s, and Newcastle are without doubt having a very poor season. However, if Celtic were to be dropped into English football, given relative strength of playing squads I would still put my money on Newcastle to finish higher over the course of a Premier League campaign.

    As much as Celtic have been winning trophies throughout their history, at this point in time Celtic FC for many does represent nothing more than a chance for very mediocre players to play a) in a trophy-winning side, b) in Europe and c) at one of the world’s most famous, if not necessarily best, clubs.

    If Newcastle stay up, I would put my house on Gary Hooper jumping at the chance to sign for them. He would earn more money – which sadly is a huge motivator for 80-90% of footballers – would play at a higher standard, alongside and against much better players. The only stick Celtic can offer him is the Champions League, and even then given the mentality Celtic play with in Europe it can’t be too glamorous – trying to carve out 0-0 draws against bigger and better teams, and having the occasional shock victory like Barcelona to celebrate.

    Apologies to Celtic fans but as terrible as Newcastle have been this season the fact is that you are playing in a league which is ranked by UEFA as the 24th best in Europe – just ahead of Serbia’s but behind those of Sweden, Croatia, Poland, Belarus, Israel, Romania, Austria, Denmark, and Cyprus. That’s hardly a position from which you can tell Premier League clubs they won’t be able to attract your players.

    • Alex, What planet do you live on ? Celtic would finish lower in the EPL than Newcastle ? Are you serious or just on the wind up ? Every time we meet EPL teams in Europe we come out on top so why would that be different if we played them every week ? Current squad top 6 and with the extra revenue we would win it within 5 years ! And holding your own and beating some of the best teams in Europe is hardly small team mentality just because its mentioned ! Yes maybe your right about hooper jumping at the chance to join Newcastle but that would be a purely financial decision nothing else as they offer nothing else unless playing against Hull, Cardiff etc excites him lol European football? I think not !!!

    • settingfreethebears // April 28, 2013 at 2:25 am // Reply


      “the fact that settingfreethebears has bragged about Celtic not having lost too heavily to bigger clubs – as opposed to “won” – has “small club mentality” written all over it. ”

      You may like to attribute that view to it but you struggle to convince. I know my club is a large club with a proud history. It is praised by real football men like Iniesta which counts for more than being dissed by fat Geordies.

      Managing to avoid big defeats, something we risk every time we play one of the Champions League Big boys, IS something to be proud of, especially when you add it to regularly winning against the same big boys as we have beaten Barca, Man u and others in recent years.

      With your current bloated TV money, you may be able to boast a more expensively assembled squad than we have. However, if we were placed in the same environment we would be able to access those same unearned sums and more than match your squad.

      We are, and always have been, a big club in one of Europe’s smaller leagues and markets. You remain a middling club in a big league and market. Clubs like Celtic, Anderlecht, Basle, Legia Warsaw, Steau, Rapid Wien, Olympiacos and Sparta Prague are proud European clubs in leagues where we do not get the bloated TV money. Newcastle, Stoke, Fulham etc; are the interchangeable cast of extras to provide fodder to Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool plus any sheik-enhanced team.

      In one of the few direct comparisons we can make, Celtic performed better against Benfica this year than Newcastle did even though we both lost to another club with a proud European history. I wonder who Benfica would think of as the big team between us?.

    • Reminding you that Scotland’s population is in proportion with these afore mentioned countries !! and we’ve still managed to reach 9 European finals!

  12. Gary hooper is a predator in from of goal ,and was about to be called up for England until he injured himself v Barcelona in Spain .
    Scottish football crap?
    Prehaps ! But Celtic … With their tv revenue of £1.5 m per season domestically?
    Please give us a break…
    Considering we made it to the last 16 of the champions league unlike the multi millionaires of man city and Chelsea I think we do ok …
    Ps our group contained spartak Moscow , Barcelona and benfica btw
    Hoopers 4 goals at the highest level of club football is enough to see that the boy has it …
    That was more goals than the entire Manchester city strike force put together …
    And for our crap league …
    Tell me …
    How many English teams have come a calling over the last 10 years and left with their tails between their legs ?
    Liverpool? Blackburn ? Manchester united?
    Who else ?
    Barcelona? Benfica? Ac Milan ?
    Just a few

  13. Alex…
    If Celtic were in the premiership..
    Do you honestly think for one minute..
    That with the £50m per season domestically instead of the £1.5m per season tv money …
    That the 60000 seats sold…
    That the sponsorship deals quadrupled..
    And the shirt deal of £25m rising to £?????
    That the worldwide fan base …
    And the 4 billionaires on our board
    And the infrastructure already in place
    Do you honestly believe that we would be a relegation contender ?

    Honestly ?

  14. “However, if Celtic were to be dropped into English football, given relative strength of playing squads I would still put my money on Newcastle to finish higher over the course of a Premier League campaign.”

    If you took the current Celtic squad and dropped it into the EPL with the added benefit of what £50 – £60M to spend from EPL TV money??? You are having a laugh alexsnow2 – they would destroy everything below the top 4 or 5 EPL clubs. Like someone else noted earlier, why do you NUFC fans keep ripping into Celtic – sort your own problems out and dream of having a history like ours.

  15. Oh may I add … One of the worlds best players….
    Barcelonas andres iniesta said last week that he has never in his career seen an atmosphere that he endured at Celtic park this year

  16. People ought to take a look at the one-horse-race nature of la Liga, Bundesliga, Seria A, and, last but most certainly not least, the EPL before they apply the same criticism to the SPL.If you’re going to slate the league at least home in on the poor attendances, lack of reveue, awful pitches, or evident lack of quality rather than something which could be applied to every league in the world at some point.

    • Scott M, Maybe you should have a look how many ex SPL players play in the EPL ? There’s plenty and there will be plenty more to follow ! And how many teams in England have a higher average attendance than Celtic and Rangers ? Not many which is disgraceful since Scotland has a population of 5 million against over 50 million in England.

  17. Mildou thouse would be the same players that made Wales look like Spain at Hampden park last month? I’m Scottish and a Celtic fan but I’m under no illusions as to the quality of our game at the moment. My point was that there are criticisms to be thrown at the SPL but I don’t feel that the ‘one horse race’ jibe has any credibility whatsoever given the fact that most major European leagues were clinched in similar style this season.

  18. To those saying that you would do well in the Premier League with the extra money; bear in mind that you’d have to rebuild your entire squad given that at the moment it is of very poor standard. If being in the Premier League for 5 years gives you enough money to win it, why havent Fulham, Stoke, Newcastle, Liverpool, or Sunderland won it yet? You talk of EPL TV money like it’s just free transfer money but bearing in mind that you’d have to see your wages shoot up, you’d be lucky to see £20 million in spending money. Plus in terms of how you would do in a Premier League campaign I am not judging how you’ve done in Europe – your fans, impressively, get so staunchly behind the team in Europe and create a giant-killing cup tie atmosphere and get one-off results. I am judging your SPL campaign, where you lost to the likes of Ross County, at home to Inverness CT, and drew with St. Johnstone. If you honestly believe you would be challenging for a Premier league title – when Man City can spend hundreds of millions in a four year period and still come so far short this year, and a club like Arsenal can go 8 years without winning anything – you are so delusional it is not even worth arguing

  19. Also to Mildouwolf who said your current squad is top 6, let’s compare your squad to two teams who are currently challenging for 6th spot, Liverpool and Everton.

    Star man: Marouane Fellaini, wanted by the likes of City Chelsea and PSG for possibly £30 million plus
    Captain: Phil Neville, admittedly old now but has over 50 England caps and played for Man Utd over a 5 year period
    Other key players: Kevin Mirallas, part of the Belgium side rated as one of the most talented in Europe, Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka, England internationals, Steven Pienaar, who unlike Celtic has played in a Champions League Quarter Final recently

    Star man: Luis Suarez, among the top 10 strikers in the world, won Copa America with Uruguay, played in a world cup semi final.
    Captain: Steven Gerrard, 100+ England caps, single handedly won a Champions League and FA Cup,
    Other key players: Lucas Leiva and Philippe Coutinho, Brazil internationals, Daniel Agger, wanted by City for £20mil last summer, Daniel Sturridge and Glen Johnson, England internationals

    Star Man: Gary Hooper. Has scored goals in the SPL and Championship. Never played in the Premier League so can’t judge him against other Premier League players but the fact that despite his prolific scoring record he can’t get an England call-up says something about how managers regard the SPL.
    Captain: Scott Brown. 30 Scottish caps by the age of 27. Because he can’t get into the Scottish side ahead of other, more talented Scottish players. Who are playing at a higher standard in the Premier League. Good engine but technically very average as a footballer.
    Other Key Players: Joe Ledley and Kris Commons: both came to Celtic because it was the highest level open to them – i.e. no Premier League clubs were interested. If you want to try and convince me that either of those, let alone the likes of Giorgios Samaras, Adam Matthews, Charlie Mulgrew and Kevin Wilson would get into a top 6 side ahead of the likes of Sylvain Distin, Glen Johnson, Daniel Sturridge and Phil Jagielka you’re more than welcome.

    If not, I’ll just leave it with the statement that the idea that Celtic’s current squad would be top 6 in the EPL is a joke.

    • You didn’t mention the facts that Norwich had several bids of £8-9m turned down in January for Hooper, or that an NUFC reject is now so highly thought of that he is rated at £10m after being called up for Engurland and that Victor Wanyama bought for a paltry £900k may now be worth £15m.
      IMO Ledley would command £5m easy and we have several players who would fetch some tidy money, but then this kind of talk is all you clowns south of the border know.
      It is inherantly obvious that money does NOT guarantee success, otherwise the CL last 4 would’ve contained EPL teams but where were they?
      You just compared several Celtc with several EPL players, are you an expert? who says your opinion is gospel? those EPL players you mentioned would not IMO necessarily get into the Celtic team, but then that is my opinion and not etched in rock.
      The truth of the matter is, Celtic are and always will be bigger than the Toon,you are only big in NE England, Celtic are a global brand, get over it!

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