Dundee United manager Jim Goodwin acknowledges that most Scottish Premiership clubs face significant financial challenges when competing with teams in England - and he thinks this is even the case as far down as the National League.

Goodwin admits that it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract players from England due to the higher wages offered even in the fifth tier of the English football pyramid.

Despite these obstacles, Goodwin has managed to bring in some new faces, including Will Ferry after his departure from Cheltenham and Jack Walton on loan from Luton. However, the majority of Goodwin's recruitment efforts have involved scouring the European market, with additions coming from North Macedonia and Croatia.

Goodwin is not content to stop there, as he continues to look for ways to strengthen several areas of his Dundee United squad with their Premier Sports Cup campaign beginning on Saturday before they return to Scotland's top-flight next month.

“The challenge we always have in Scotland is that everything boils down to finances," Goodwin confessed.

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"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.

“It’s why we put such an emphasis on bringing Michael Cairney (new head of recruitment) 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.

“We are not done (in the transfer market), 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.

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“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.”