Hayes blasts WSL fixture schedule: ‘We’re working against ourselves’

Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes says the English fixture schedule is holding clubs back from progressing in Europe.

The Blues thrashed Liverpool 5-1 at Stamford Bridge just three days after their Champions League draw with Real Madrid as Lauren James scored a hat-trick.

And Hayes says the packed schedule is proving problematic for clubs competing on different fronts.

“We’re the only English team in Europe (this season)” said Hayes.

“Yet we’re the only association that doesn’t help its team in Europe. Spain do, France do, Germany do. We don’t. And that for me is disappointing.

“We’re working against ourselves. There’s a rule in place that means you can put a Saturday game on at 1:30 for TV, because we’ve had two days between games.

“But they aren’t factoring in that we are getting in at half four in the morning. Why are we getting in then? Well there’s drug testing so you can just leave.

“On that first day you’re like a zombie and the second is just about getting your legs moving. If you get home at 4am in the morning, it screws up a night’s sleep.

“Don’t we want an English team to progress in Europe? It’s already hard enough. The rest of Europe look at us and think their league doesn’t even help them.

“Don’t you think it is a little bizarre that we’re the only team to play this weekend after being the only team to play Wednesday and play Sunday night away from home?”

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