Shortly after Chelsea beat Aston Villa 6-0 to climb to the top of the Women’s Super League (WSL) table, the club released a statement announcing the departure of manager Emma Hayes.
The game was a telling victory of just what it means to be coached by Emma Hayes with captain Millie Bright being the first to score for the Blues. Fran Kirby who is back from injury and fully fit extended the lead by netting one in the 26th minute.
In the second half, Chelsea became more clinical in front of the goal Johanna Rytting Kaneryd scoring. Ashley Lawrence was next in line as she scored her first goal in Chelsea blue. Aggie Beever-Jones and Niamh Charles were the last to add to the misery of the Villans.
Chelsea announces the departure of Emma Hayes
Whilst the fans were basking in the glory of a dominant display of football, the club brought the mood down by announcing that Emma Hayes would be leaving the club the end of the season.
“Emma’s contribution to Chelsea cannot be understated. 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,” said Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali.
Why Emma Hayes is a Chelsea legend
Emma Hayes joined Chelsea in 2012. It was off the back of a difficult start to the WSL ever since the league was formed in 2010.
When the recruitment policy changed in 2013, Hayes got the opportunity to make real changes at the club from the 2014 season onward. The changes reflected positively on the pitch, with Chelsea missing out on a first league title by goal difference. This was an outstanding achievement seeing as Chelsea narrowly missed relegation in the 2013 season.
In the 2015 season, Hayes, and Chelsea ended up lifting the Women’s Super League title. That was the start of many.
Ever since then, Emma Hayes has led the Blues to six FA WSL titles, five Women’s FA Cups, two FA Women’s League Cups, a FA Women’s Spring Series trophy and one FA Women’s Community Shield.
Between the 2017/18 and 2022/23 seasons, Hayes’ mighty Blues have achieved incredible milestones. In 119 games, Chelsea has had a total of 92 wins, 20 draws and 7 losses. In that same space of time, they have scored 334 goals, conceded only 74, and have gone completely unbeaten in not one, but two seasons.
What Hayes has built in her time at Chelsea is remarkable. Chelsea are the team to beat. Their style of play and the winning DNA that runs in their veins have completely redefined the women’s game and the WSL.
What’s next for the manager
A manager who is as prolific as Emma Hayes is in high demand in the market.
Just minutes after the club announced her departure, there has already been speculation that Hayes will be taken on as manager of the United States Women’s national team. The position is currently vacant. The Chelsea legend has been linked with the USWNT manager’s job in the past and has now emerged as the top candidate to take over the position.
The perfect send-off
But before she leaves, there iss still one thing left to do at Chelsea.
The only thing that Chelsea has never won is the UEFA Women’s Champions League. It is the only trophy Emma Hayes has yet to add to her huge collection.
The 2023/24 season is still young, but already, Chelsea has proven that the aim is to defend their WSL and FA Cup titles. The goal is also to win the UWCL trophy for the first time in their history.
The goal for Chelsea this season is to win everything, for Emma Hayes. There would be no greater show of gratitude for the club legend.