On an otherwise slow day for Leeds United news, we start the bank holiday with the story that a bidding war has began for Gary Hooper with Middlesbrough the first club to show their hand.

It’s believed that Leeds United are amongst a number of teams, including Celtic, Middlesbrough, Wigan and Wolves that are chasing the 22-year old Scunthorpe striker.

Hooper has, in the past, indicated his desire to join Leeds when previous speculation forced the striker to respond. He told the press that he’d be reluctant to drop a division, but some teams were too big and it’d be hard to resist.

What will worry a lot of Leeds United fans today is the suggestion that Boro have opened the bidding at £2.5m. With speculation rife that Simon Grayson has little, or no money to spend, it seems unlikely that Larry will be able to match the opening bid.

Perhaps it’s clutching at straws, but the only positive in the race so far is Hooper’s previous suggestion that he’d like to join Leeds United. Whether another club can offer the talented youngster a quicker road to the Premier League however may be the decisive factor.

  • White to the core

    It pains me to say it but the lad Hooper is not on a freebie so i cant see him gracing Elland Road in the near future. Not in white anyhow. I would love to see Captain ken birdseye dip his hand into his dusty mothballed wallet and spend the going rate on a decent proven championship /prem ready replacement for Becks, but when was last time we saw pigs flying over leeds? Alas i fear it will be the usual loan(some) cowboys and bargain bucket last minute freebees for us again. I fear that as he eventually managed league 1 on the cheap that he will continue his penny pinching (obnoxious to anyone remotely interested in investing in leeds ) ways. I hope i’m wrong and i will continue looking for the odd low flying porker over Elland Road in the coming weeks. Shit what was that ? Oh bugger just thomas bubble belly brolin visiting town. Never mind

    • gjsmsmith

      lol!!!! class comment mate!!!

  • Paul South Wales

    It will soon become clear what funds we have to spend and how serious we are about mounting a challenge on the CCC. Everyone is waiting to see who replaces Beckford, and he has some seriously big boots to fill. Signing a top quality striker is a prerequisite for this coming season and old players in the twilight of their careers is just not good enough. We scrapped through last year and we need a serious injection of players to go forward. If Bates thinks a few free signings plus what we’ve got will be enough, he’s in for surprise! The only positive is that SG has managed in this league and should know what he needs, though IF what he needs is more than Ken’s prepared to shell out for then that’s another story. We wait with baited breath for our next signings, please no more shite!

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  • Leeds4eva

    This summer is crunch time regarding whether or not Ken is serious about the club moving forward. Alas i can see maybe 1 average purchase and the rest loanees.

  • steve

    The signing of Kasper Smeichel excited me, but speculation about Rob
    Hulse did not.
    If we are to be serious contenders we need Hooper And Sharpe, but I
    fear that is just wishful thinking as Bates will not spend and will
    not allow anyone else in who might do so.

  • Paul

    Just reading some good comments!
    We have been heavily linked with Hulse and Hooper but some say we have no money, so where is the 1.5 million coming from for Hulse that’s been reported?
    I think out of the names that have been suggested that Hooper has got to be the real target but we will have to wait and see with alot of interest in who we do actually sign. A striker is the main player we need but our defence could do with sorting just as much!
    Again is this Boro bid correct or a rumour? My guess is a rumour as I think a bid of 1.5 mill will get Hooper. How much money do you think we need to challenge? Koumas could be a very good freebie!

  • Henry V

    I think we know (deep down) that we can kiss Hooper goodbye.
    £2.5 M to start the bidding!
    Even Simon has said “we do not need to spend millions”!!!
    We DO need to spend millions for a top striker!!
    How else can we get one?
    Let us keep our fingers crossed that Ken will surprise us.

    Henry.

  • Benjamin Bunny

    What has Hulses form been like this past season, anyone know?
    I rekon we’ll get Sharp if we move soon, but I think Hooper will go elsewhere.

  • Matt bb

    We dont need to spend millions, but… You’re rolling the dice with staying up if you don’t. I suspect we will make one significant cash signing this summer probably up front, and we may even sell one of snodgrass, kilkenny or howson to balance that, it seems to be the way now. Ken is hell bent on our credit rating improving, so he can get a loan for elland road, and that precludes going overdrawn. For us its frustrating, but positively when we own the ground we might see a ew investor and bates going.

  • by rights leeds should have the 6 million that we received from villa for delph take away the amount spent on training him and maybe 2 million with a bit of profit for the the club. basically around 4 million and there shouild of been around 2 million extra after delph played is set amount of games . bates was probably intending on just spending the 2million after so many games which that back fired as delph was injured. in my opinion we should of really had 6 million to spend .i also think bates as done the right thing not spending while in league 1 cos who was really worth buying down there now we have moved up we should be looking at bringing about 10 players in and in my opinion super kevin philips should be a thought in graysons mind even if only for the bench and only on loan as he is the difference between getting promoted to prem league or not.

    • leeds will not enter into a bidding war and will not be held ransome

    • Craig

      10? With whose money?

      • i know what your saying but thats how many we need you cant release 5 or more players and go up a league and carry on without upgrading.so bates is gonna have to dig very deep.

    • Max.

      Bear in mind the supposed £6m wasn’t cash down (there were appearance bonuses, and Delph is injured for 8 months), £1.5m presumably went in legal fees on the libel judgement against Mr Bates and before taking into account the swings and roundabouts on the above (and other incomes such as the money on the latest batch of youth players to abscond), the club didn’t quite run at break even. There will also be promotion bonuses, and we seem to have acquired a bunch of quite expensive loan players in the second half of the season.

      • we was supposed to get 6 mil when he went and a further 2 mil after so many appearances . obviously bates thinks 2 mil is enough to go and get promoted and prob go on and win prem league .

        • im starting to believe leeds have actually got money as they are supposed to be bidding around 1 million on another midfielder .

  • Matt bb

    He was top scorer for county with 12 league goals in a poor team.

  • Hooper would have been the best out of the names put forward but we don’t want to get into a bidding war for him. If i’m right Billy Paynters contract is almost up and we could nick him as one of our front two; but I still think we need a proven goal scorer at this level to partner him up front..I would have liked Kris Boyd from Rangers whose contract is up, but he will be lookin big wages.

  • Acid

    As already mentioned.

    Leeds will not enter a bidding war for anyone.
    Ken Bates is clearly looking at Simon to only
    get in FREES, rather than spend a penny on a
    player or players that can bring us GOALS to
    replace the loss of Beckford.

    I do hope I am proven wrong though!

  • Paul South Wales

    Hooper and sharpe for me, but Kevin Phillips is a good shout and could still do a good job in CCC. Hulse has been and gone and doesn’t really excite anyone.I just hope we act sooner rather than later and make some quality signings. You get what you pay for in this life and if we want the best we have to stump up the cash!! MOT.

  • Lookin at what strikers are available on free, I can safely say I don’t see very much. If that is the case don’t be surprised to see simon casting his net a little further afield into Europe.

  • Henry V

    I will be VERY surprised if Simon has not got ALL his targets picked already.
    I do not think he will waste too much time.
    For all we know Hooper may not be on his list!!

    The waiting is agony though!

    Henry.

  • Reports suggest we are bidding against wigan for Hamilton Accies midfielder Scottish U21 International James McArthur, paper talk says he would be close to £1 million…mate of robert snodgrass

  • Max.

    I suspect that, since the administration crisis, Leeds’ credit rating is nil – so they can’t borrow money – and Mr Bates has his money squirrelled away offshore (and it’s not that much by football team owner standards), so they have to run at break-even (and the profit they made a couple of years ago is in the bank to ensure they don’t hit a cash flow crisis).

    I read somewhere that Leeds’ squad wage bill is about £6m tops, and on that basis they just about break even; I’m not sure how much extra money comes from the Championship, but I can’t see Leeds’ home attendance going up by much, and ticket prices have already been set. The parachute payment share-out from NUFC and WBA going back up apparently doesn’t go to the teams promoted from L1. But I’ll bet they can’t afford to buy anyone for more than £1m, maybe more than £500k.

    Most teams in the championship either have rich-ish owners (e.g. QPR, Middlesborough), or are borrowing significantly (e.g. Cardiff, Palace), or are hoping to just hang on and avoid relegation (Scunthorpe). Note, for comparison: Portsmouth are in a financial crisis and have already pre-spent their parachute payments, and are said to be trying to get their wage bill from £30m to £10m – compare and contrast. It’s possible to get promoted even while spending the minimum (and selling off youth players to fund what you do spend) but it doesn’t seem likely. Our best chance is either that the club gets sold (which strikes me as unlikely, Ken wants a seat at the top table again) or that Mr Bates finds a co-investor willing to go in with him, which after the Matthew Harding saga at Chelsea also doesn’t seem the most attractive proposition.

    On the plus side, it doesn’t feel like Leeds will be going back into administration for a while.

    • timm

      Good post Max. I definately feel that the club’s moving in the right direction slowly & surely. If you look at many of the posts on here, it’s amazing how many people are actually slagging Bates off for things that haven’t even happened! ie, not outbidding Middlesboroughs fictional £2.5 million bid for Hooper! Or not aiming high enough by going for Rob Hulse! Has anyone at the club said we’re after him? 99% of us were happy with the signing of Schmeichel (on huge money) & 100% of us were surprised by it, & that’s because Grayson & Bates have their targets & absolutely refuse to do their business in public. I know we’re all impatient but let’s just wait & see instead of turning every TSS post an anti-Bates rant! THe fact is we’ve made one signing & it’s so far so good.

      • TheReaper08

        Exactly lads, I have never read so much woe is me bullshit in a long time. The bloody window isn’t even open yet and so far the populus has us chalked down for a handful of freebies and zero investment.

        God I logged in and thought I had actually missed the transfer windon completely reading some of the above.

      • TSS

        B-b-but where would TSS be without anti-Bates rants? :(

        • TheReaper08

          My speed typing doesn’t get any better does it, apparently it’s a transfer ‘windon’ now, genius !

          I can understand a lot of the anti Bates stuff, as I ahve said before I don’t like the fella but I am not going to waste my time getting all bitter about what hasn’t actually happened yet, that will just make you a bitter man TSS.

          Relax, go with the flow and we might be surprised, it was after all only a couple of days ago I was being told we had signed a goalkeeping messiah.

          • TSS

            True, true, and in fairness, I haven’t criticised his transfer window spending (yet!). I’ll wait ’til it closes. I guess history tells us to expect very little, and with all the money the fans pump in, it’s starting to grow a little frustrating when we can’t compete with “lesser” teams for targets,

          • timm

            But where are we not competing with ‘lesser’ teams? We haven’t missed out on anyone yet & the one signing we have made was someone who had premiership teams chasing him!

          • TSS

            I was referring to past seasons Timm, although, even then it’s hard to say if we were even in the running for some players given the veil of secrecy under which LUFC operates.

        • TheReaper08

          And if the club announced Monday that they were absolutley going after Hooper and we lost out to another club offering something we could’t what would you say then ? My guess is it would be I wish we had conducted that piece of business quietly and not told the whole world our plans.

          It’s similar to the I want the club to be solvent and well run but I also want to sign superstars and pay there over inflated wages argument.

          • TSS

            Exactly! Finally you’re catching on! ;)

            To be fair, if they were a little more open it’d make writing this site a hell of a lot easier!

          • TheReaper08

            Why would it make it easier ? If they disclosed everything you would have no unfounded speculation to publish.

          • TSS

            I’d be wrong less though!

    • i heard not long back that leeds make a profit each year now from match day tickets in league 1 so im sure we will double the profit in championship

  • Charlie Big Potatoes

    While id very much like Hooper there are too many positions in the team to strengthen to afford to blow the bulk of our transfer budget on one player. We need at least two centre halves, a full back and a holding man in midfield to list just four. We’re better off spreading the cash (If any?!) throughout the team to get the sqaud as a whole upto reasonable CC spec. Then at this stage next year (Safety / Mid table assured) we can look and afford to spend more money on fewer signings to excel and make a push for promotion.

    No point buying Hooper and either haemorrhaging goals at the back or havin no service for him. For that reason id rather we consolidated and got the sqaud upto snuff before indulging ourselves with expensive (Admittidley exciting signings). I personally don’t think we can afford to gamble that sort of money at this stage, afterall theres no ABSOLUTE guarantee he’d score us goals, he could flop (Not likely, but at 2.5 millie at CC level it is a risk.

  • White to the core

    Reaper have we ever seen Bates give us reason to believe that any scenario other than the “woe is me” doom and gloom , freebie, loanee ‘sit com’ is going to occur? Would we have got schmeichal if he wasnt free? People are only commenting on what they have seen of Bates thus far! No1 is suggesting that he goes the Ridsdale route but you can generally only go so far in any business without significant INVESTMENT!

    • TheReaper08

      I suggested a long time ago that we should be able to get out of L1 with miminal investement, it’s not a very good league so all we needed was an ok bunch of players and a half decent manager.

      It won’t be the same in the CCC, if we want to get out investment in the playing squad will be required. I choose to believe that Bates know’s this already and if he wants to maximise his return on the club he must get us to the PL.

      And yes we have seen a scenario that doesn’t fit in with the woe is me brigade, we just got promoted and we did it with exactly the level of investment I both expected and predicted.

      • Craig

        You and me both Reaper. It was tough sticking to our line whenever we had a blip and the ‘Sack Grayson/spendalot parrots’ came back for yet another outing but I’m glad Grayson resisted the urge to splurge cash on players who would have come to Leeds looking for a payday but not been good enough for the CCC.

        • TSS

          On the other side of the coin however is the fact it took us three years to get out of a league two tiers below what most would consider our natural level. I know I’m playing Devil’s Advocate here, but I still maintain my view that we should have been signing youngsters who could grow with the team (a la Hooper!)

          • TheReaper08

            It’s a risk, for everyone youngster that makes it at a higher level another 99 don’t. Do what you need to do to get out of the league you are in, if your lucky half a dozen or so of those players will be genuinely good enough to compete at the higher level of the league you are going to.

            It’s all well and good proclaiming we should be just signing up all these magic youngsters, if it was that easy everyone would be doing it.

          • TSS

            True, but we’re talking recognised talent who is already proven at the next level here and was more than willing to come (Hooper). I aren’t saying take pot shots, I’m saying pick out the genuine potential. What else do we pay all these scouts for?

          • TheReaper08

            I didn’t once hear Hooper categorically state they he would be prepared to drop a league to join us, I heard and read a lot of speculation just like I heard we were signing the Arsenal keeper and Forster from Newcastle (which one did we sign again ?)

            If you can point me in the direction of the evidence I would be much obliged.

          • TSS

            I can’t remember where I got the quote from, but it was at a time when only Leeds were linked with him and he said “I would be keen (to stay) but if a big club comes in, you never know.”

            This is the original post I put up. I think the quote came from Scunny’s local rag, but can’t remember now as it’s a while back.

            http://www.thescratchingshed.com/2010/01/who-replaces-beckford-stats-of-scunthorpe-peterborough-southend-and-sheffield-uniteds-strikers/

          • TSS

            There was another quote from him (again referring to Leeds) which was a little more obvious ‘come and get me’ plea, but I’m struggling to find it at the moment.

          • TheReaper08

            So it sounds like every good diplomatic footballers answer, just not ruling anything out.

            He didn’t reveal a Leeds tattoo then during an elaborate goal celebration ? Or confess he was actually born underneath the Kop ?

          • TSS

            Waiting for confirmation on the last one.

  • White to the core

    Yes but this minimal investment approach will only take you so far. No one of a sane mind is suggesting we spend daft sums of cash and pop star wages. I think the problem is Bates has not instilled a great deal of faith in most supporters and i think most of us if we are honest know there is little cash for S.G to spend and are just being realistic. We would all like to believe that when a ‘Hooper’ becomes available we could compete for him with so called lesser clubs but the reality i suspect is different. I hope there is cash to invest and papa smurf proves us wrong. Anyhow since when have our beloved team done owt the easy way :)

  • There is so much speculation round this place like ‘Will Hooper, Sharp,Paynter etc sign?’ ‘Do we even have a transfer budget?’ I think as TSS suggested all of these things will be answered over the course of the Summer. What I will be intrigued about is wether or not we will be hawking any more of our players round various clubs. I think if this starts to happen we will have our answers!!

    • TSS

      I know what you mean, I hate this part of the season, but love it at the same time. The speculation is somehow exciting (in a nauseating kind of way!)

  • White to the core

    As i said since when has supporting our beloved Leeds been easy. The speculation is a killer. Like others i hope we dont need to sell to buy. Besides anyone we have to sell worth more than monkey nuts is probably not surplus to requirements and therefore defeats the object! Are we blessed in any position with a wealth of competing talent ie a spare talented winger or right back. The players most of us wouldnt lose sleep over the loss of are hardly going to give S.G any greater spending power if sold are they?

  • I think this may have been discussed before but can someone..ANYONE!! tell me who the ‘real’ owners of our club are, and wether or not any of them has more than 2 bob to their names?

  • White to the core

    I suspect the owner is a Mrs Ken Bates , anyone ?

  • Matt bb

    My money’s on us having been nationalised by the labour government and gordon brown as our largest shareholder..

  • All right heres a teaser. What is the biggest transfer fee paid out on a player since cuddly ken took over?

    • TheReaper08

      It’s difficult to be sure as most of our signings are undisclosed.

      As far as what we know it would be Richard Cresswell for £1.15 million followed by Robbie Blake for £800k then Kevin Nicholls for £750k.

      • I won’t argue with that reaper, we actually must of had money to spend back then lol

        • TheReaper08

          I know what you mean. I think it’s because at that stage Ken thought we might just make it back to the Prem.

          It’s that thought that keeps me going now, maybe just maybe Ken thinks if he invests a bit in the squad now we might play in the Prem once again.

  • Do you want a smile this monday bank holiday cut and paste the following AND ENJOY AGAIN!!!…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRPEG7tsmi8

  • Matt bb

    And that money was parachute payments from the premier league.. Therefore expect about £0 to be spent.. Thats fine as long as no one else expects it, all it takes now in any bidding war is for the other side to offer £1.. Albeit we did pay 250k for bromby and 200k for gradel, we’re 10k a week better off now beckford has left, perhaps we could be optimistic..

    • timm

      And we did just reportedly beat off a host of clubs fro the ccc & premiership to capture Schmeichel, and as much as it’s heart warming to hear the lad telling us he joined because Thorp Arch is so wonderful & we’re ‘massive’, i suspect that we were the ones offering him the most money?

  • Andy Bates

    Consistent rumours are that we have signed John Eustace from Watford-its a done deal and will be announced shortly.

    • Matt BB

      The mcarthur rumour is growing, and he plays the same position as Eustace, I suspect the noise around Watofrd relates to Daniel Graham..

  • Henry V

    I wonder if we will have to sacrifice our ‘better’ players to bring others in?
    The rumour of Snoddy going to Forest in exchange for Tyson & a bit of money is growing.
    It may not be true but it would show how feeble we are!
    No! I will not believe it!
    Simon is the man!!
    I would not be surprised to see Smithy back though!?

    Henry.

  • nzstu1

    Following all this transfer news with great interest. One thing noticed we’re all talking about how to grow, which is a massive shift, I’m feeling very optomistic. We do have pulling power and may be a few surprises on way – mot