Chelsea manager Emma Hayes will leave the club at the end of the Women’s Super League season “to pursue a new opportunity outside of the WSL and club football”, the club announced in a statement after defeat 6-0 against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Hayes, who joined the club in 2012, won the WSL title six times and the FA Cup five times during a glittering tenure which saw her establish Chelsea as one of the best teams in Europe.
She was previously linked to the position of coach of the US national team. “Given everything she brought to Chelsea over more than 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 take on a new challenge,” said the Chelsea co-sporting director. Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said in a statement.
“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 focused solely on achieving success this season for Chelsea.”
On Saturday, the Blues had six different players on the scoresheet as they beat Aston Villa 6-0 to go top of the table with 13 points after five games, three ahead of second-placed Manchester City, who face Arsenal on Sunday.