West Ham have announced the departure of manager Matt Beard “by mutual consent” and with immediate effect.
The pressure had been building on the 42-year-old with West Ham’s form erratic and inconsistent. The team have just one win from their seven Women’s Super League games played this season and went through 20 months without consecutive wins between February 2019 and the start of this month in all competitions.
A 4-0 defeat of Championship side Charlton to all but confirm their place in the Continental League Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday night was clearly deemed not enough to save the manager. Goalkeeping coach Billy Stewart and first-team coach Paul McHugh will take temporary charge of the team while the club begins its search for a new manager.
Beard, who twice won the WSL in 2013 and 2014 with Liverpool, joined the Hammers in June 2018 as the club prepared for a first season in the newly-professionalised top flight. In their first season at the top, Beard guided them to a first Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley, where they suffered defeat to Manchester City.
“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,” said Beard.
“Although I am leaving, I do so with some wonderful memories that I will forever treasure, and I would like to thank Jack Sullivan and everyone at the club for the opportunity to work at West Ham.”
Sullivan, managing director of the women’s team, added: “On behalf of everyone at West Ham, 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.”