09 December 2020

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes says WSL clubs struggle to compete with the rest of Europe due to finances

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes believes English clubs have had less success in the Women’s Champions League because they can’t compete financially with the rest of Europe.

In the last ten years, French giants Lyon have won the tournament seven times with Germany’s Frankfurt, VfL Wolfsburg and Turbine Potsdam also winning. The last and only time an English club won was Arsenal in 2007.

Hayes told The Telegraph: "The level of investment for those teams in Europe has been significant. When you consider Lyon, the support and investment - you cannot compare that to anyone else. Clubs like Barcelona, Wolfsburg, PSG, they’re all on a financial level above the English clubs in terms of spend.

"I think if you knew the finances, they are probably double that of English clubs. I’m not saying I don’t have quality in our ranks but you can’t just acquire one or two players to be at that level. You have to build towards that and I think depth is the key. 

“Hence the reason I have a top-heavy squad, because I don’t believe you can play multiple players back-to-back, plus internationals, and compete deep into the Champions League. Look at Lyon last year, they played what they consider to be their third-choice No 9 in the final, nobody has that resource.”

Hayes added she wants to reach the Champions League final, something she hasn’t done since becoming manager of the Blues in 2012. The furthest Chelsea have gone in the competition is the semi-finals, in both 2018 and 2019.

"We have built a team over time. I hope that the additions we made this year and the collective wisdom we’ve developed that we can progress one stage further [to the final]. That’s what we aspire towards and we’re very much looking forward to getting going, it’s been a long time coming."

Chelsea play Benfica this afternoon at 3pm and you can keep up to date live here at NewsChain.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox