‘My decision’ – Hayes insists leaving Chelsea was her choice to put family first

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Emma Hayes has affirmed that the decision to leave her role as the Chelsea Women’s manager was her choice.

The Blues announced last weekend that the 47-year-old will depart the club at the end of the season after a hugely successful 11 years.

Hayes has been an immense success at Chelsea but is now in her final season

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Hayes has been an immense success at Chelsea but is now in her final seasonCredit: Getty

Hayes joined Chelsea in 2012 and has led the club to six Women’s Super League titles and five Women’s FA Cups.

However, this will be her final season and talkSPORT understands she is set to become the next United States Women’s boss.

The Daily Mail reported during the week that Hayes had a desire to stay at Chelsea for the rest of her career during initial talks.

Sporting director Paul Winstanley is said to have been keen to focus on other issues and negotiations were put on hold, but Hayes said on Friday: “This is my decision.

“As I said, when you coach at an elite level and you have to perform at an elite level and you have standards and expectations that I have, anything less than the best is not acceptable.

“And maintaining that on a daily grind, it’s a lot, it takes a lot of work. I think it is important, I’m a mum and not many football managers sit up here and talk about that in the same way.

“My little boy has been extraordinary to allow me to do this but it’s challenging for him because… this weekend is a good example, got a game away at Everton, back, away at Real Madrid, away.

“I’m talking to some of these guys, Suzie in the room, you know we’ve got children, it’s difficult and I think there’s still a lot of work to be done in the women’s game for people with children.

Hayes is regarded as one of the greatest-ever women's managers

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Hayes is regarded as one of the greatest-ever women’s managersCredit: Getty

“I shouldn’t just limit that but people with children, we have lives and I have to think about, this is actually not a selfish decision. This is a selfless decision, this is about putting first some other things in my life and I’m ready for that.”

Chelsea Women were crowned Women’s Super League champions for the fourth consecutive season in May thanks to Hayes’ leadership.

The Blues are top of the table in the current campaign so far having won four of their opening five matches.

Hayes’ side are also the only English club competing in this season’s Women’s Champions League, a trophy they are yet to win.



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