David Meyler and Robbie Brady have bought into Steve Bruce's vision and believe Hull City can win promotion
WHEN former owner Russell Bartlett sanctioned the £5.3m recruitment of Stephen Hunt and Kamel Ghilas on the eve of Hull City's second Premier League season in August 2009, it completed a year of financial suicide at the KC Stadium.
With midfielders Jimmy Bullard and Seyi Olofinjana already recruited for £8m in the preceding weeks and months to ramp up an annual wage bill unforgivably to £38m, the future of the Tigers was gambled like never before in its colourful history.
Only the intervention of Assem Allam eventually spared City from the hangman's noose 16 months later but, as the top-flight's riches loom into vision once again, the Tigers have chanced their arm with another roll of the financial dice.
Not since the unveiling of Hunt and Ghilas three and a half years ago have City pledged the amounts needed to turn the loan deals of David Meyler and Robbie Brady into permanent transfers this week.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
But while a £3.5m outlay has not only underlined City's status as a leading force in the Championship, it has also confirmed valuable lessons have been learned since their summer of financial folly in 2009.
"They are two fantastic acquisitions to the squad," said Bruce. "One is 20 (Brady) and the other is 23 (Melyer) so it's an investment for the future.
"I'm sure they'll be huge signings and what excites me is that they join a group of good young players.
"People like Corry Evans, James Chester, Sone Aluko and Jack Hobbs. Everywhere I look there's a sprinkling of youth alongside the experience that every team needs.
"I had no hesitation whatsoever bringing them into the club. They will play for us for the next three and a half years – at least."
This week's ambitious moves for Meyler and Brady clearly reflect Bruce's focus on youth as he attempts to build his East Yorkshire empire in 2013.
Should the City boss revert to the side that handsomely defeated Leeds 2-0 a fortnight ago when Sheffield Wednesday arrive at the KC tomorrow evening, only captain Robert Koren and Abdoulaye Faye will be over 28, while seven will be aged 25 or under.
The kids are all right, it seems, and the two newcomers have provided Bruce with the perfect January lift.
"I'm sure there was interest from elsewhere but I believe David and Robbie are enjoying it here," he said.
"We got them from Manchester United and Sunderland, two bigs clubs, so it was great to get them to come.
"The way we've played probably helped convince them. They know they're playing in a decent team.
"I'm not sure either player has been on a losing side yet have they? That always helps.
"They also believe that we've got a chance of getting into the big league and that was the key to it."
If City gambled their existence in a failed bid to secure a third season in the Premier League under Phil Brown, recruitment under Bruce has taken a more measured approach.
Other than Nick Proschwitz, who continues to toil in his attempts to justify his £2.6m summer transfer fee, moves for Stephen Quinn, Sone Aluko, Alex Bruce, Abdoulaye Faye and Ahmed Elmohamady (albeit on loan) have all delivered rich returns.
For that, the gratitude up towards the boardroom is clear.
"The owners have been nothing short of fantastic in their support," said Bruce. "They want the club to succeed. I detected when I came in there was a bit of negativity towards them but I hope that has evaporated now.
"I'm delighted for them that we're near the top of the league because I don't think there would be many people outside of Hull who would have put the amount of money into their club that they have.
"You have to be realistic. Without them, I dread to think where this club would be so they deserve a pat on the back. And if there's something else to be done in January then I'm sure they'll do their best to help us."