Emma Hayes: WSL’s most successful manager to leave Chelsea at the end of the season

Following Chelsea’s comprehensive victory over Aston Villa on Saturday, Chelsea FC issued an official club statement indicating that Emma Hayes would be leaving the club at the conclusion of the 2023/24 season.

Since joining the club in 2012, Hayes has guided the Blues to six WSL titles – alongside five FA Cups, two League Cups, one Community Shield and a FA Spring Series title. Her list of accomplishments ensure that she is, by a comfortable distance, the most successful manager in WSL history.

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While Hayes’ next challenge is not yet known, the club statement indicates that she will leave to pursue ‘a new opportunity outside of the WSL and club football.’ Following the United States’ poor performances at the FIFA World Cup, there is much speculation linking her to that job – while some see her as the ideal replacement for Gareth Southgate following EURO2024.

Alongside her lengthy list of club accolades, Hayes has been named as the WSL’s Manager of the Season on six occasions – also being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021. Her contributions to football also earned recognition from the Royal Family, as she was made an OBE in June 2022.

Ever an advocate for the growth of the women’s game, Hayes has been vocal about ensuring women in football are protected – speaking passionately about the need for enhanced research into ACL injuries, expert dieticians and the psychological effects that are associated with being a high-profile athlete.