November 6 – Emma Hayes, the longest serving and most successful manager in Women’s Super League history, has agreed to become the United States head coach after a shock decision to leave Chelsea.
Hayes, who has won six WSL titles and five FA Cups, is leaving her club at the end of the season after 11 years at the helm. In 2020 she was runner-up in the FIFA Best Women’s coach awards, winning the accolade in 2021.
Her salary could match that of US men’s coach $1.6 million per annum, making her the highest paid women’s coach in world football.
The news of her departure broke only an hour after Chelsea moved to the top of the table with a 6-0 victory over Aston Villa at the weekend.
A statement from Chelsea, issued shortly afterwards, read: “Chelsea FC can today confirm that highly decorated Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes OBE will depart the club at the end of the season to pursue a new opportunity outside of the WSL and club football.”
The US have been looking for a head coach since Vlatko Andonovski was sacked after a disappointing last-16 exit at this summer’s Women’s World Cup. Twila Kilgore has since served as interim manager.
“Emma’s contribution to Chelsea cannot be overstated,” a statement from Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali read. “She has been a pioneer in women’s football and is hugely respected within the game. We look forward to continuing to work together over the coming months.”
Chelsea sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley added: “Emma has been one of the biggest drivers of change in women’s football. Her achievements at Chelsea are unrivalled and will live in the club’s history for ever.
“Given everything she has contributed to Chelsea in over a decade with the club, and the legacy she leaves behind, we would never stand in her way when she felt it was the right time to pursue a new challenge. We are pleased that she will remain with the club for the remainder of the season to give us the time to identify her successor.
Hayes actually began her managerial career in the United States, with spells coaching Long Island Lady Riders and Iona College. She moved back to America in 2008 to take charge of Chicago Red Stars but was sacked two years later.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org