'We overpaid' - Ex-Terriers owner on Alex Pritchard regrets

Norwich Head Coach Daniel Farke and Alex Pritchard of Huddersfield Town during the Sky Bet Champions

Former Norwich City player Alex Pritchard completed a move to Huddersfield in 2018. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Former Huddersfield Town owner Dean Hoyle believes he overpaid for Alex Pritchard when the Terriers signed him from Norwich City back in 2018.

Huddersfield signed the attacking midfielder in the January of their debut season in the Premier League just a month after Pritchard had returned from injury and began to shine under Daniel Farke. 

Pritchard has gone onto make 80 appearances at the John Smith's Stadium but hasn't progressed in the manner many expected when he joined the Yorkshire club. His contract expires at the end of the current campaign.

Hoyle signed Pritchard to show how much he backed then-boss David Wagner, but in hindsight feels it was a deal that didn't suit the club.

"In that season we had also brought Alex Pritchard for £11million, which we couldn't really afford. 

"I think we'd spent about £60million, and when I say spent, it obviously goes out over two or three years.

"David Wagner wanted a number 10 and he was obsessed by Alex Pritchard. He said 'that's the man'. Two things, first, I had to go back to Stuart Webber to negotiate. That wasn't easy but all good fun. 

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"Secondly, personally, we overpaid. We overpaid for the football club. We overpaid for the player and we went over budget by £11million but we survived. I don't think Alex made us survive, but I really wanted to support David," Hoyle told the Looks Good on Paper podcast.

Huddersfield Town Chairman Dean Hoyle salutes the fans after his final match at the John Smith's Sta

Former Huddersfield Town owner Dean Hoyle believes the club overpaid for Alex Pritchard. - Credit: PA

"David was a rock star. He got us to the Premier League, the promised land and we were in touching distance of staying up at Christmas. I backed him with everything I had."   

City's current sporting director Stuart Webber worked under Hoyle and is credited with helping Huddersfield reach the Premier League. His exit left his personal relationship with the Terriers ex-owner in tatters, something that has since been restored. 

Hoyle describes Webber's exit as a 'big personal loss' after he recommended a change of direction that helped Town reach the top-flight, namely appointing Wagner after being handed his name by an agent.

Speaking about Webber's exit, Hoyle said: "We were so far behind the curve. I'd lost Stuart Webber to Norwich, (which was a) big loss for me. I had another head of football operations in place but, let's be honest, he wasn't Stuart."

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