Why Emma Hayes being linked with the Wimbledon job isn’t good for gender equality

Emma Hayes, the Chelsea Women’s manager, has been linked with the vacant job at AFC Wimbledon after the departure of Glyn Hodges.

The Dons are a great footballing story – they were formed after the owners moved the original Wimbledon up to Milton Keynes.

The fan-owned club have now progressed to League One and have returned to their spiritual home of Plough Lane.

It wouldn’t be out of character for them to become the first professional men’s team in Britain to have a woman manager, but it would actually be bad for gender equality.

Hayes is the best manager in the Women’s Super League, that is both opinion and fact.

Chelsea are currently on a 33-game unbeaten streak in the WSL, the longest ever, and the Blues sit top of the league on goal difference with a game in hand from second-place Manchester United.

Hayes has been with the club since 2012 and, in that time, has guided them to three WSL trophies, two FA Cups, (including two league and cup doubles) a League Cup and a Community Shield.

With the recent world-record signing of Pernille Harder from Wolfsburg, Hayes boasts an illustrious squad which also features England stars Millie Bright, Fran Kirby and Beth England.

If a person was managing the Premier League leaders and current champions, they would never be linked with a job at a League One club who are a point from safety.

If Hayes was already coaching at a men’s team, she’d be in the Premier League not League One.

Furthermore, managing a men’s professional club is not better than managing a women’s club.

And in Hayes’ case it wouldn’t earn her more money, saying on Tuesday that AFC Wimbledon could “absolutely not” afford her.

If we are going to have gender equality in sport, we shouldn’t be linking women managers with teams far below their talent and their pay grade.

Thankfully with women like Hayes at the top of football knowing her worth, we’re closer to gender equality than this AFC Wimbledon debacle would have you believe.

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