Steve Bruce admits Hull have paid ‘premium’ price for British players such as Robert Snodgrass from Norwich City
10:30 16 July 2014
Many Norwich City supporters felt Hull City had paid an inflated fee for Robert Snodgrass this summer – and now it seems Tigers boss Steve Bruce agrees.
Bruce enjoyed great success in the domestic market last summer with Curtis Davies (£2.25million) and Tom Huddlestone (£5.25million) proving particularly good value.
But having established themselves for a second year in the Barclays Premier League, as well as earning a Europa League qualifying spot courtesy of their run to the FA Cup final, Hull are finding it harder to strike a deal this time around.
Instead, they have been forced to pay big money for British players including Snodgrass and Jake Livermore, who cost a combined £15m, with more to come when the Tom Ince tribunal is concluded.
Bruce says he is aware their continental counterparts would be priced more competitively but does not yet have the scouting network to gamble.
“There’s the problem in our game. You identify a young English lad but you can get a player from overseas for half the price,” Bruce told the Hull Daily Mail during the Tigers’ warm-weather training camp in Portugal.
“If I can buy in our market I always will. You pay a premium for a young British player and that’s what we’ve done.
“We’ve got a 22-year-old, a 24-year-old and a 26-year-old (Snodgrass). It’s cost us more money but I would expect that. You know what you’re going to get.”
City’s player-of-the-season joined Hull at the end of last month, signing a three-year deal with the Humberside club.
After 12 Premier League goals in 67 top-flight appearances for Norwich following his move from Leeds in July 2012, the Scotland international was expected to go for a lower fee as he only had a year remaining on his contract.
But Bruce decided to force through the move with his club’s Premier League riches – although he hopes he will not always have to stick with the same transfer tactics.
“There’ll come a time when I know what I’m going to get from the foreign market and hopefully we can get that set up in the next 12 months,” he added.
Bruce is looking to add another British signing before the season gets under way, but admits his long-term pursuit of Tottenham captain Michael Dawson is floundering.
Bruce is reported as saying talks with Tottenham have hit a “stalemate”.