Emma Hayes Advocates for Increased Representation of Women Managers in Football

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Chelsea manager Emma Hayes will be stepping down from her position at the end of the season, marking the conclusion of a remarkable era spanning over a decade, during which the Blues secured six league titles. As she prepares to depart, Hayes has highlighted the significant issue of the lack of female coaches in English football, particularly as speculation arises regarding Frank Lampard potentially replacing her in the Chelsea Women’s dugout. Over her 12-year tenure, Hayes, 47, has established herself as one of football’s most influential and successful managers, securing 13 major trophies, including six league titles, and guiding Chelsea to their first-ever Women’s Champions League final.

After the current season, Hayes will leave Chelsea to assume the role of the next manager for the USA women’s national team starting in the summer. Her departure will signify another loss of a female coach in English football. With the recent sacking of Melissa Phillips by Brighton, only four out of the 12 Women’s Super League teams are currently led by women: Carla Ward (Aston Villa), Rehanne Skinner (West Ham), Lauren Smith (Bristol City), and Hayes. The search for Hayes’ successor is ongoing, and former Chelsea manager Lampard has been suggested as a potential replacement by pundit Izzy Christiansen. If Lampard were to be appointed, it would mean that three-quarters of the managers in the WSL are men.

When questioned about her preference for a female successor at Chelsea, Hayes responded to the BBC, stating, “It’s about the club and what their needs are. It’s probably best that I stay out of that and just support that person.” The noticeable absence of women on the touchline stands in stark contrast to the increasing participation of women and girls in the sport on the pitch. Hayes believes that the lack of investment in women’s coaching is at the core of this issue.

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