Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes has opened up on her decision to leave the club after a 12-year tenure.
Hayes said: “The time is right. I will work with the club in the succession plan and do everything I can to make sure there is as good a transition as possible.
“This is my club. It will always be my club and while I am sad on many, many levels, I’ve always said to the fans there will come that moment where I’m sat with them, and I look forward to that come the end of the season.”
The 47-year old manager was adamant that her departure would not hinder the club’s status as a top side.
“When I started here at this football club, it was always my goal to leave it in a better place and I’ll make sure on my way out I’ll do absolutely everything to make sure that this football club stays at the top.”
During her time as Chelsea boss, Hayes has led the team to 13 major trophies, including six FA WSL titles and five FA Cups.
In light of that success, she is expected to take over as manager of the U.S. Women’s National Team. However, Hayes has not confirmed that she will be taking the job, nor would she comment on suggestions there was an issue over contract renewal talks with Chelsea.
She added: “I’m not going to comment on that. I’m contracted to Chelsea until the end of the season and that’s where my commitment lies right now.”
The Chelsea manager has a five-year-old son and suggested that family demands were a motivating factor for her departure from the Chelsea job.
“I drive four hours to and from this place six days-a-week for 12 years. I have a five-year-old that needs more of his mummy.
“This is not a selfish decision, it’s a selfless decision. It’s about putting first other things in my life.”
“There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done in the women’s game for people with children.”
Chelsea are currently top of the WSL, at the time of writing, remaining unbeaten in the first five games.