Chelsea manager Emma Hayes says the club can help ‘educate’ the government on how a football team works

West Ham 1Chelsea 4

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has suggested the club could now help ‘educate’ the government on how a football team works, as her side cruised to a comfortable win over West Ham United in the Women’s Super League .

On what she described as a “difficult day” for Chelsea, Hayes also hinted that she had already agreed to sign new players at the end of this season and wondered how the news of Chelsea’s sanctions Roman Abramovich would affect these arrangements.

Chelsea said on Thursday they intended to hold discussions with the government regarding the scope of the license that allows them to continue operating in light of the sanctions against Abramovich.

Speaking ahead of his side’s game against West Ham, Hayes said it was important to ‘give him time’ as the club continue these conversations with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

“There’s so much we don’t know,” Hayes said. “There could be players who have already agreed to come to the club and we don’t know the likely impact of that. Or players out of contract.

“What I do know is that the DCMS will work with the club, and maybe the club will help educate the DCMS a bit more about how clubs work and what we need to operate. We’re certainly cooperative with that.

“I expect that with every question that comes, every day, we will get more answers. Today is not the day I got them.

Chelsea have played two fewer games than WSL leaders Arsenal, and victory at West Ham on Thursday night reduced the gap at the top to five points.

In a dominating performance, Chelsea scored twice within three minutes of the first half to take control of the Chigwell Construction Stadium. Pernille Harder opened the scoring in the 21st minute with a superb individual goal, cutting inside on her left foot before firing her finish into the far corner.

Niamh Charles added the second with a ferocious drive from distance, which replays said had taken a slight deflection from West Ham’s Gilly Flaherty, before Harder extended the lead with a neat header from Ji So-‘s measured cross. yun.

West Ham pulled a goal back shortly after half-time when Dagny Brynjarsdottir converted Kate Longhurst’s cross, but Sam Kerr quickly restored Chelsea’s three-goal lead after capitalizing on a confusion in the West Ham defense .

Team details

West Ham United (3-5-2): Arnold 6; Parker 6, Flaherty 5, Cissoko 6; Longhurst 6, Brynjarsdottir 7, Wyne 6 (Evans 57), Hasegawa 6, Svitkova 6 (Joel 76); Subs: Yallop 5 (Filis 76), Walker 6 (Leon 57) Subs: Stringer, Snerle, Leat, Cairns, Houssein

Chelsea (4-4-2): Musovic 6; Charles 7, Bright 7, Nouwen 6, Carter 6; Harder 8 (James 79), Ingle 6, Ji 7 (Reiten 67), Andersson 7 (Abdullina 76); England 6 (Spence 67), Kerr 7 Subs: Mjelde, Berger

Arbitrator: Carl Brook

What impact will Abramovich’s sanctions have on the biggest power in English women’s football?

By Molly McElwee

Matchday revenue under threat

Chelsea’s women’s day operating budget is well below the £500,000 limit imposed on the men’s side at Stamford Bridge for home games, leaving Kingsmeadow relatively unaffected in terms of running costs.

Where women could lose out is through ticket sales – now banned by government sanctions. While the men have 28,000 season ticket holders, the number of women’s teams is much smaller at around 1,500. Still, the 4,850-capacity ground at Kingsmeadow is one of the busiest of the WSL, and Chelsea have loyal supporters, but many of these fans attend the occasional ticket sale.

One silver lining, however, is that – unlike the men’s side – when Chelsea host Birmingham City in the FA Cup quarter-final on March 20, season tickets will be valid for entry. However, the subscription conditions state that from the semi-final onwards, Chelsea fans must purchase individual matchday tickets. Therefore, the club could be faced with organizing the next round behind closed doors.

Which players are out of contract this summer?

Four of Chelsea’s players are out of contract at the end of this season and with the government yet to clarify whether the club can offer contract extensions to existing staff, it brings a lot of uncertainty to the squad. ‘Emma Hayes.

Defenders Maren Mjelde of Norway and Sweden international Jonna Andersson will both be affected, along with talismanic Chelsea midfielder Ji so-Yun of South Korea and Drew Spence of Jamaica.

A deep gash in Hayes’ carefully cultivated squad presents obvious problems on the pitch next season, but there could also be personal implications for the players. Unlike in men’s football, the options for joining a top, well-paid team in women’s football are more limited. For Mjelde, who has been battling injuries for over a year, finding a new team to support her could prove tricky, while Spence – who has no regular playing time with Chelsea – could face similar difficulties.

There is also good news. Hayes, the FIFA Women’s Coach of the Year, signed a new contract last summer to extend her reign for a decade. Meanwhile, Chelsea’s main goalscorer Sam Kerr has renewed his contract until the end of the 2023-24 season and goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger and striker Beth England are also signed until the same date. .

From next season, however, several key members of the squad could be in a vulnerable position: England’s Fran Kirby and captain Magda Eriksson’s contracts are up in 2023, as is Millie Bright’s – which would leave a huge hole in Chelsea’s backline.

How will the fallout affect Chelsea’s title race?

Amid much uncertainty at the club last weekend, Chelsea lost the Continental Cup final to Manchester City 3-1 after a lackluster second-half performance from the defending champions, who also lifted the trophy in 2020 .

Although they are currently in the driver’s seat of the title race – Chelsea have played two fewer games than WSL leaders Arsenal, and their victory at West Ham on Thursday night reduced the gap at the top to five points – it remains a crucial moment in the season, and Chelsea cannot afford to make a mistake.

What happens if the WSL loses its super club?

Chelsea have by far the biggest operating budget in the WSL, topping £5m in the latest financial accounts, and are said to be paying their top players up to a quarter of a million pounds a year. Not only that, they also compete successfully with the best teams in Europe – including Lyon and Barcelona – when it comes to securing the best players in the world, paying a record transfer fee which is said to exceed £250,000 for Pernille Harder in September 2020. .

But with Chelsea out of action on the transfer front, that leaves Arsenal and Manchester City as England’s most lucrative employers, potentially making the league less competitive and narrowing options for top players seeking the lowest salaries. highest and most stable configurations in women. Soccer. If Chelsea become a diminished power, the WSL’s position in world and European football will undoubtedly suffer.

What kind of owner do Chelsea women need to survive?

On the one hand, a successful women’s team is an obvious and positive PR tool any potential owner can invest in, given the scrutiny of a club developed with the money of a Russian oligarch.

But predicting what kind of football club owner will appreciate their wife’s outfit isn’t easy. Both Liverpool and Manchester United have American owners – and with the high profile of women’s football in the United States, one would assume these clubs would therefore be better valued. But that just wasn’t the case. Liverpool’s investment in the women’s team has dropped massively, despite the club’s glory days winning the WSL in 2014, while United only reluctantly invested a few years ago – and still have a budget a lot smaller than City, Arsenal or Chelsea.

Ultimately, when it comes to securing a sale over the line, the women’s team will be far from the top priority.

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