Former West Ham Women manager Matt Beard says the club were offered a number of US players while he was in charge – but admits the side couldn’t afford their wages.
Beard left the role by mutual consent and with immediate effect last week, having been at the club for just over two years.
The 42-year-old managed the club in their first season as a fully-fledged professional team in 2018 and led them to a Women’s FA Cup final appearance at Wembley last season.
But following a run of three straight league defeats, Beard has walked away from the club, revealing the increasing difficulty in competing in the Women’s Super League on a limited budget.
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“I’m comfortable with the decision and I’ve left the club on good terms,” Beard told The Women’s Football Show.
“With Brexit upon us it makes recruitment even more difficult as well as the homegrown rule coming in.
“You now have to pay a premium for English players and if you look at my recruitment process at West Ham over the three transfer windows we’ve looked outside the English market to fill the squad.
“We even got offered a couple of the American players as well but we’re nowhere near the salaries they were looking for.”
The WSL saw an influx of USA’s World Cup-winning squad during the summer as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the country’s domestic league.
Forward Alex Morgan joined Tottenham while Manchester City signed Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle and Tobin Heath and Christen Press arrived at Manchester United.
“We got offered all of them other than Rose Lavelle – they were probably offered to most WSL clubs to be honest,” Beard said.
“Obviously in America it’s been a nightmare with the pandemic and the leagues not really playing and the players needing to play.
“It’s been great to see them coming over here though and how well they have settled in – especially Sam Mewis.”
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