Oh, to have been a fly on the wall this week as news broke inside Chelsea of Emma Hayes impending departure from the club at the end of this season. 

With the USWNT apparently set to make the current Chelsea manager a lucrative offer - million dollar contracts are fairly thin on the ground for female coaches - it was a notable insinuation that her hand had been somewhat forced.

Reports immediately circulated to suggest that Chelsea sporting director Paul Winstanley had been tardy in offering a contract extension with others at the club taking priority.  If this should indeed transpire to be the case it would be a damning indictment of just how where the women’s game still continues to languish. 

"It's fair to say, I believe in private conversations," said Hayes diplomatically when queried on whether this was indeed the case. "I'm disappointed to hear things being said in the press but I want to make sure I maintain my own professionalism. I have a team to focus on, games to win and don't think anything will come between me and players and fans.”

In her 12-year spell at the club, Hayes has delivered five FA Cups, two FA League Cups, an FA Women’s Spring Series trophy and the Community Shield. She has also been at the forefront of the revolution of the women’s game south of the border.

Having transformed Chelsea into the goliath that they are in the women’s game, she has driven up the standard across the board, a standard that has been reflected in the quality of the league and, as a byproduct, the quality of the England international team.

READ MORE: Ange and Ancelotti show old guard can shine in ‘laptopy’ modern game

Facilities, training methods, coaching levels, analysis and, more recently, the growth of the women’s transfer market, are all unrecognisable in the women’s game today than they were back in 2012 when she first took on the role.

The USWNT, which would appear her most likely next destination, are in a different state of transition. Their disappointing showing in the World Cup would suggest a team that faces political and structural questions as they come to a crossroads but the four times World Champions remain a considerable draw.

What was particularly interesting, however, was the reaction to the news that Hayes - who had apparently been receptive to initial talks of an extension to her contract - will leave at the end of this season.

One Chelsea fan suggested that there had been chat within the club prior to the appointment of Frank Lampard as the men’s coach last season that Hayes was in actual fact more qualified for the role.

Aside from the circus that this would initially have generated, why would it not be a pertinent suggestion? It has long gone now, of course, but for a Chelsea side who have struggled to retain managers of the men’s team, why should it been seen as an absurd call?

Whatever the situation as it now stands, there is no ambiguity that Chelsea and the women’s game south of the border will be worse off for her departure.


Caroline Weir deservedly collected the Women’s Player of the Year in Spain this week - as voted by her fellow players - on the back of last season’s performances for Real Madrid.
It was a campaign that earned the midfielder a two-year contract extension at the start of the summer.
It will be impossible for Weir to rectify the same standard again this term after she recuperates now from surgery on an ACL, with a long road back to fitness ahead of her.

It's an incredible loss for Scotland and for Real Madrid but it is difficult to appreciate the complexity of emotions players must go through on the journey back from serious injury out of the spotlight and away from the collective of the team.

The world at your feet one minute and hobbling the next, the effects of such a process and what it takes to return from it are clearly exacting on the psyche. In addition to that for Weir there is the knowledge that she had taken a demanding league by storm and is well on her way to being regarded as one of the best midfielders globally in women’s football.
Absorbing the shock of that and preparing to go again can be overlooked amid the hustle and bustle of a busy football calendar.


The SWPL announced that Managing Director, Fiona McIntyre, has been elected to the Board of the newly established Women’s Leagues Forum with a release late on Friday evening.

It is a groundbreaking move for McIntyre after the World Leagues Forum announced the establishment of the “Women’s Leagues Forum.”

“It is a real privilege to be part of this moment in history,” said McIntyre after spending her last few days in San Diego as talks took place about the initiative.

“As women’s football continues to grow at a rapid pace, it’s important that the SWPL is at the forefront of progressive initiatives such as this,” she continued. “We have made great strides since establishing a new organisation alongside our member clubs, and today illustrates global recognition of the development of the Scottish game alongside some of the best leagues in the world.

 “I look forward to working alongside my fellow league leaders and colleagues from around the world to drive the game forward and ensure Scotland is well served and represented across the globe.”
The news of McIntyre’s involvement means that Scotland have a seat at global initiatives to grow the women’s game.

The Women’s Leagues Forum is designed to provide a platform for women's leagues to collaborate, exchange best practices, pursue business development opportunities, and advocate for their collective interests.