Inducted into the Women’s Super League Hall of Fame in 2021, Hayes became the Chelsea Women’s manager in 2012 and won six FA WSL titles, five Women’s FA Cups, two FA Women’s League Cups, one FA Women’s Spring Series trophy and one FA Women’s Community Shield during her tenure at Chelsea managing the likes of Matildas superstar Sam Kerr.
It is understood that her departure will allow Hayes to pursue a new opportunity outside of the Women’s Super League and club football. Per Backheeled, the United States Women’s National Team are set to hire Hayes as their new manager.
It is believed that she will join the United States during the international break but will not take over the full-time manager role until the conclusion of the 2023-24 Women’s Super League season.
“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 forever,” Co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said in a club statement.
“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.
“There will be plenty of time to celebrate Emma’s many achievements at the club and to give her the farewell she deserves, but for now, as she always has been, Emma will be solely focused on making this season as successful as possible for Chelsea.”
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These words were followed by that of Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali.
“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.”
The news comes less than two years after Hayes guided the Chelsea Women’s team to the domestic double in the 2020-21 season – they were one win away from claiming the domestic treble after finishing runner-up to Manchester City in the League Cup. This saw her earn the prestigious award that is The Best FIFA Football Coach.