Emma Hayes MBE (born 18 October 1976) is an English professional football manager. She is the manager of FA Women Super League club Chelsea Women. She previously served as the head coach and director of football operations for Chicago Red Stars of Women's Professional Soccer in the United States from 2008 until 24 May 2010.
Emma Hayes was born on 18 October 1976 in Camden, London, England. She has a boy child who was born on 17 May 2018. Hayes has been in professional coaching since 2001, and has been manager at Chelsea FCW since 2012. During that time she has built the Blues into a juggernaut, which has recently been highlighted by the team setting a new WSL record for matches unbeaten, 32 — now at 33, and counting. Since the 2014-15 season, Hayes and Chelsea have lifted eight trophies.
Originally from Camden, London, having studied at Liverpool Hope University, graduating in 1999, she was formerly manager of the Long Island Lady Riders between 2001 and 2003, head women's football coach at Iona College in New Rochelle between 2003 and 2006, and first team assistant coach and academy director for Arsenal Ladies between 2006 and 2008.
Hayes landed the Chelsea Women job in August 2012, replacing Liverpool-bound Matt Beard. Hayes was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to football.
The 2015 Season
After narrowly missing out on the 2014 FA WSL 1 title on the final day, she oversaw a huge squad overhaul that bore witness to the addition of several arrivals. With the agonising memories of final-day defeat still fresh in memory, Hayes guided her side to an historic league and cup double, edging the FA Cup Final thanks to a lone strike from Ji late on in the first half.
Her side also reached the last 16 of the Women's Champions League after defeating Glasgow City FC. They went on to lose 2-1 to VfL Wolfsburg at home and she blasted the FA for not supporting the English teams by their poor fixture scheduling.
The 2016 Season
Hayes' side finished second in the FA WSL 1, five points adrift of Champions Manchester City. The Blues also reached the FA Cup Final for the second consecutive year, losing 1–0 to a strong Arsenal side.
The 2017 Season
Aided with addition of new players, she guided her side to finish top, in a reorganised FA WSL 1, on goal difference. The team also played the FA Cup competitions and reached the semi-final but were knocked out by Birmingham City in a penalty shoot-out.
Chelsea F.C. Women
- FA Women's Super League: 2015, 2017–18, 2019–20
- FA WSL Spring Series: 2017
- Women's FA Cup: 2014–15, 2017–18
- FA Women's League Cup: 2019–20
- Women's FA Community Shield: 2020
- Long Island Lady Riders (2001–2003)
- Iona College (2003–2006)
- Arsenal Ladies (assistant) (2006–2008)
- Chicago Red Stars (2008–2010)
- Chelsea Women (2012–Present)
AFC Wimbledon managerial post rumours
Her name popped up as a potential candidate for the vacant AFC Wimbledon managerial post after the sacking of Glyn Hodges on 30 January 2021. If this rumour is true and she ends up getting the job she will be the first woman to manage a men's football team in the history of the FA.
She however rejected claims that if she is to be appointed it will be an upgrade. Emma Hayes labelled as an "insult" suggestions that an EFL job would be a step up from women’s football, after the Chelsea Women manager was linked with the vacancy at AFC Wimbledon.
Hayes said the “world of football needs to wake up and recognise that, while the game is played by a different gender, it is exactly the same sport, and the qualities involved with having to manage that are exactly the same as they would be in a men’s team”.
The Chelsea FCW manager said: “I just don’t know why anyone would ever think that women’s football is a step down and that coaching World Cup champions, winners, players that have represented their countries in the Olympics or European championships is a step down from anything.”
No professional men’s team in England have been managed by a woman. Hayes, asked whether AFC Wimbledon could afford her, quipped: “Absolutely not.”