As the 2018/19 football season comes to end, managers, coaches, and players are either announcing their retirement or transfer. Rumors are currently afloat that Maurizio Sarri may step down from his position by the end of the season. His managerial position will be taken over by Emma Hayes, manager of the Chelsea women’s team.
Fans of the club have mixed reactions towards this news. While some question her expertise in managing a team at such an elite level, certain others question her gender and the possibility of a men’s team listening to her.
Now, there is one crucial thing that everyone must understand. Emma Hayes has won a league and cup double with the Chelsea women’s team. She is in no way inexperienced. Agreed, the men’s league is leaps and bounds ahead but that is because women-centric sports are still treated as inferior. Also, if a man can waltz through to manage a women’s team, surely it can work the other way around as well.
COULD HAYES MANAGE CHELSEA MEN?
Chelsea Women's coach Emma Hayes has been linked with the men's job, should Maurizio Sarri leave this summer.
Could you see that happening? Or what would it take for a female coach to lead a top men's side in England? pic.twitter.com/FUaV2oSxZN
— Sunday Supplement (@SundaySupp) May 19, 2019
Emma Hayes has even said in the past that she can imagine a time when a woman managed a men’s team, speaking in a press conference in April she said, “I can say that Sian Massey is the best lineswoman and linesperson by a country mile. I think she’s outstanding every time I watch her and it won’t be long at all (before a woman referees a Premier League game). I think it is only a matter of time. As much as it is a matter of time before there is a female coach in the men’s game.”
Women are often subjected to nasty comments, ridiculous questions and sexism when placed in a superior role. Such was the problem in the case of Imke Wubbenhorst – the first female boss in the top five divisions of German football. During a press conference, a journalist suggested Imke wear a siren to signal her arrival in the dressing room so that the boys could put on their pants. Her response was nothing short of a nasty burn on the journalist’s career and a befitting reply to those who parade on sexism.
Male football players who turn into managers or coaches generally do what previous coaches and managers have done. Very few choose to do something apart from the ordinary. Perhaps a female manager for a men’s team is necessary. The ‘lack of expertise’ can actually act as a clean slate and for new blood to help save a sinking ship.
It takes just one person to break the wheel. Women heading a men’s team may be a rarity in sports but when it does happen, great things do happen. For example, Natasha Orchard-Smith went on to manage Arlesely Town with just experience in the women’s team to back her up. The FA confirmed that Orchard-Smith is the only female head coach from the National League down.
Patrizia Panico created history in Italian football in 2017 by accepting the role of head coach of the under-16 national team. Needless to say, the team is currently full of promising stars on the rise. Chan Yuen-ting, a 29-year-old born in Hong Kong, went on to become the first ever woman to coach a men’s team in the Hong Kong Premier League. What’s more, she went ahead to become the first and youngest woman to win the title!
It is high time people realize the value of women in sports rather using gender as a reason to undermine their capabilities. Don’t you think?