WSL

Hayes labelled 'proprietor of change' for WSL as Chelsea boss prepares for USA move

By Sports Desk December 31, 2023 227

The Women's Super League and Chelsea Women will be beneficiaries of the legacy Emma Hayes leaves behind when she heads for a new challenge in the United States.

That was the message from Chloe Kelly, Nikita Parris and Rachel Brown-Finnis as the trio looked ahead to Chelsea boss Hayes leaving Stamford Bridge for the USA Women's head coach role.

Hayes is regarded by many in women's football as one of the most influential people in the game and has been in charge of the London club since 2012.

Hayes' departure date is confirmed for May, when she travels to the USA to take over after their underwhelming 2023 Women's World Cup campaign, and Kelly was quick to credit the Chelsea boss for her work with the Blues.

Speaking at the launch of the first ever Panini Barclays Women's Super League sticker collection at the National Football Museum, Kelly said: "I think throughout the years she's been so consistent at Chelsea and playing great football, I think it's exciting for her.

"It's a new chapter of her career and I wish her all the best in that, but of course it's a loss to the WSL, it's the top manager that we're losing, but hopefully she goes and achieves great things.

Hayes has led Chelsea to six WSL titles, five Women’s FA Cups, two Continental Cups, the Spring Series, a Community Shield victory and a Champions League final.

Parris echoed England team-mate Kelly's sentiments, adding: "She has proven over many years how much of a fantastic coach she is and she will be a massive loss to the league.

"Chelsea winning the WSL back to back to back, that's some feat and she deserves all the credit that she gets.

"I wish her all the best in the future, especially when she's not playing against England but I wish her the best for the US."

Hayes' new role will make her the world's highest‑paid female coach, although there will be heavy expectations placed upon her when she crosses the Atlantic.

Hayes' first major tournament as USA boss will be the Olympics next year in Paris, with Twila Kilgore acting as interim head coach until May, becoming her assistant when she arrives.

Brown-Finnis believes the legacy Hayes will leave in the WSL and at Chelsea will be clear for all to see, saying women's football will benefit from her influence going forward.

"Emma Hayes is arguably, in the 12 years she's been at Chelsea, the biggest proprietor of change," Brown-Finnis said at the same event as Parris and Kelly.

"That's in her coaching methods, in the success that she's bred, the infrastructure that she's implemented at the club, the conversations that she's had with the hierarchy at Chelsea.

"She has made demands to ensure that change happens from a resources point of view, in the way that people think about women's football at the club and beyond.

"They are now the blueprint that other WSL clubs, not just WSL clubs, but domestic clubs all around the world are looking at... how they conduct themselves, how they interact, how they work as one body and that for me has been the biggest and most solid change.

"In years gone by, a club's gone down from the Premier League and the first thing to have been axed has been the women's club. That is history, thankfully.

"Emma Hayes has been and still is moving things forward, happy to stand toe-to-toe in arguments and debates around football, a subject that she knows as well as any professional coach in the game, male or female, and she's a wonderful ambassador and a wonderful pioneer.

"She'll be a big loss to the Women's Super League, but I hope eventually she'll be back in England, possibly leading England to World Cup glory."

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Last modified on Sunday, 31 December 2023 09:45
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