Hayes calls for more opportunities for female coaches

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes calls for increased financial support and education to boost opportunities for female coaches.

Published : Feb 05, 2024 12:47 IST , Bengaluru - 1 MIN READ

FILE PHOTO: Chelsea manager Emma Hayes.
FILE PHOTO: Chelsea manager Emma Hayes. | Photo Credit: Action Images via Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Chelsea manager Emma Hayes. | Photo Credit: Action Images via Reuters

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said opportunities for female coaches are still “few and far between” and that financial support and education should be provided to boost the number of women in coaching positions at professional clubs.

The 47-year-old Englishwoman, who is set to take over as coach of the U.S. women’s team after a trophy-laden 12-year spell at Chelsea, said that while progress has been made over the years, a lot of work still needs to be done to close the gender gap.

Of the 12 teams in the Women’s Super League (WSL), only four have women in charge, with Hayes, Aston Villa’s Carla Ward, Bristol City’s Lauren Smith and West Ham United’s Rehanne Skinner.

Melissa Phillips was sacked by Brighton & Hove Albion last week after 10 months in charge.

READ | 2023 in women’s sports: From Australia’s dominance and Spain’s crowning moment to a historic inclusion in the Olympics

“We have to recognise that the opportunities are few and far between. We need to think of different ways to educate women from a younger age,” Hayes told BBC Sport.

“We have to look at the cost of it as a starting point. It’s about 10,000 pounds ($12,609) to do a Pro Licence. And the wages in the women’s game are insignificant compared to the men’s game.

“We have to think about educating players much earlier on in their careers, maybe even during international breaks where there’s more downtime ... and most importantly, support so that they can go through the coach education.

“We have to commit more money to coaches, not just in the women’s game, but women coaches in general.”

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