West Ham United Women have parted company with manager Matt Beard ‘by mutual consent’ following a difficult start to the 2020/21 Women’s Super League season.
His last game in charge was a 4-0 win over Charlton in the Continental Cup on Wednesday night, but the Hammers have been victorious in just one of their opening seven WSL games and are failing to improve on last season when they finished eighth in the final standings.
Goalkeeping coach Billy Stewart and first-team coach Paul McHugh will take temporary charge of the team until a permanent replacement is found.
A statement from Beard published on the club’s official website read: “I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time with West Ham United and, while I am sad to depart, I am proud of the work we have done to grow and develop this team.
“Although I am leaving, I do so with some wonderful memories that I will forever treasure, and I would like to thank [managing director] Jack Sullivan and everyone at the club for the opportunity to work at West Ham United.”
Sullivan commented: “On behalf of everyone at West Ham United, I would like to say thank you to Matt for his hard work and dedication during his time with the club.
“Our growth, from a newly formed professional team taking our first steps into the Women’s Super League to an established side in the top flight, has been colossal, and Matt has been one of the leading figures in that effort.
“Personally, it has been a pleasure working closely with Matt and, although we are parting ways, we do so amicably and with plenty of unforgettable memories shared. I genuinely wish Matt all the best for the future.”
Beard is a former two-time WSL champion in charge of Liverpool and was appointed West Ham boss in the summer of 2018 ahead of the club’s debut top-flight season. That campaign finished with an appearance in the FA Cup final at Wembley, while Beard and his team had been featured in two BBC Three reality series about the club over the last couple of years.