VIP box row scuppers Owls’ Hooper move

Gary Hooper
Gary Hooper
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Sheffield Wednesday’s loan move for Gary Hooper fell through after the Owls turned down the striker’s request for a VIP box at Hillsborough, The Star can reveal.

Hooper, the Norwich City forward, passed a medical with Wednesday last week after the Owls agreed to pay a £500,000 loan fee, and fund the player’s £32,000-per-week wages in full.

But the move collapsed over the provision of a VIP box at Hillsborough, which are thought to retail at around £30,000 a season, for Hooper’s friends and family .

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Wednesday failed to tie down either Hooper or Matej Vydra before yesterday’s 6pm deadline, with Watford striker Vydra opting to join Reading on a season-long loan deal.

Hooper was then linked heavily with a move to Fulham, but Wednesday’s Championship rivals couldn’t strike an agreement.

Wednesday, who signed 15 players in the summer transfer window, did no further incoming business on deadline day - although they did land a £1m windfall from Nottingham Forest, after the £7m sale of Michail Antonio to West Ham.

Antonio joined Forest for £1.5m last August, and the Owls inserted a sell-on clause in the deal - which entitled them to around 20 per cent of the profit Forest made following the winger’s move to the Premier League. Wednesday also confirmed that Stevie May has joined Championship rivals Preston North End. The fee is undisclosed, but is thought to be in the region of £1m.

“The fans can expect hard work from me; that is the thing I think every player’s game should be based upon,” May said.

“I had a lot of chances last season, which I felt I should have taken and now I am looking forward to showing what I can do.”

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