Chelsea hires Sonia Bompastor as its new head coach after Emma Hayes' departure

LONDON (AP) — Women’s Super League champion Chelsea hired Lyon manager Sonia Bompastor on Wednesday as its new head coach with a four-year deal.

The 43-year-old Bompastor takes over from Emma Hayes, who for more than 12 years led the Blues to 14 major trophies including a fifth straight league title on the final day of the recently concluded season. Hayes left to become the U.S. women’s soccer coach.

Bompastor, who won seven trophies in her three years in charge of Lyon, begins her new role on July 1.

“I am incredibly grateful to join Chelsea Football Club as the head coach of the women’s team. It is an institution in English football," the former France international said.

“I hope to live up to Emma’s legacy and continue the work that has been done in recent years. Let the adventure begin.”

Bompastor's last match in charge of Lyon was a 2-0 defeat to Barcelona on Saturday in the Women’s Champions League final. Lyon was seeking a record-extending ninth European trophy.

As a player, Bompastor made her international debut in 2000 and the midfielder went on to make 156 appearances for the national team, with two years as captain of Les Bleues. Bompastor won back-to-back top-flight titles with Lyon in 2007 and 2008 as well as the Coupe de France in her second season. In her second spell at Lyon, Bompastor won back-to-back Champions League trophies in 2011 and 2012, before retiring the next year on her 33rd birthday.

Bompastor’s appointment came on the same day Chelsea announced plans for the “strategic growth” of its women’s team.

“In advance of next season, Chelsea Women will be repositioned so that it sits alongside, rather than beneath, the men’s team in a move that heralds a new era for the club,” a club statement said.

“Chelsea Women will therefore have dedicated resources, management and commercial leadership, which will be focused solely on the growth and success of the women’s team."


AP soccer:

The Associated Press