Jim Goodwin drops weighty Scottish Premiership confession and claims most CAN'T outspend English National League

Jim Goodwin reckons most Scottish Premiership clubs struggle to compete financially with teams in England’s National League.

The Dundee United boss admits it is getting ever harder to lure players from south of the border because of the wages on offer even in the fifth tier. Goodwin has still managed to bring in Will Ferry after his exit from Cheltenham and Jack Walton on loan from Luton. But the rest of his recruitment has come from the home market and others like Macedonia and Croatia.

Goodwin said: “The challenge we always have in Scotland is that everything boils down to finances. We have spoken to a number of players in England but unfortunately League One and League Two sides there have massive budgets. Even some National League sides are paying more than 75 per cent of Scottish Premiership sides. That’s just to give an understanding as to where we are in the financial scheme of things – but that is nothing new and is something we need to deal with.”

New United head of recruitment Michael Cairney has helped open up other markets for Goodwin. The Irish boss added: “It’s why we put such an emphasis on bringing Michael Cairney to the club.

“But the business we have done so far is a really good sign of intent. Ryan Strain is an Australia international, Vicko Sevelj looks a real quality player, (Kristijan) Trapanovski, I believe, will become a North Macedonia international by playing regularly. That’s good quality, and that’s what we continue to aim for, not just adding players for the sake of it.”

Goodwin is still looking to add four or five new signings with the majority of them to boost his options in the middle and top end of the park. He doesn’t expect to have anyone new in his team for the Premier Sports Cup opener against Falkirk this weekend.

The United boss said: “We are not done, by any means. We are all working really hard, and we do want more strength in depth. We want to have fierce competition for places.

“In this group stage, we have four games in a fortnight and not everyone will be fit enough to play 90 minutes in all four games. We need options throughout the squad – to be able to change things up – and that’ll be the case throughout the season.

“We’re a little bit light and I’d like more options at the top end of the pitch. We’ll keep working on that. Prior to the Falkirk game might be a bit early though.

“Even if we did manage to get someone in later in the week, I don’t think that it would be fair to chuck them into a competitive game after not much training and fitness work.”

Goodwin has been pleased with his pre-season. He believes his team is in good shape, with the only concern ahead of the trip to Falkirk the fitness of Kai Fotheringham who has a shoulder issue. He said: “We’re in a pretty similar situation to every other team going into the fourth week of pre-season.

“There’s a lot of soreness and muscle aches, but we have got through without any real serious injuries. Kai Fotheringham came off at the weekend. He hurt his shoulder, which is a persistent problem Kai has had.

“But we would expect that to settle down in the coming days. Everyone else is in good shape. That’s the balancing act of pre-season, trying to push the players and place big demands on them. Pre-season is supposed to be tough but you want to get through it without breaking anyone. I think we’ve done that well.”