Chelsea Ladies coach says women’s pay equality ‘could expand our team’

The England women’s team has shown that equal pay is possible, according to Chelsea Ladies coach Emma Hayes.

The new England manager praised the “amazing” squad that helped the women’s national team to glory in the last two World Cups and added that the club’s aim is to ensure all their teams – including the men’s squad – follow suit.

In an interview with Good Morning Britain she said: “I think there is a time for everyone to get paid the same.

“It is not possible, but that is our aim. That means we’re not competing with the men, so we could expand our team.”

Hayes, who won five FA Cups with Chelsea, said: “I always believe that you shouldn’t criticise for the sake of criticising and that’s probably the hardest part about the job of being a women’s coach.

“It is so much about being polite and being respectful to other people and I wouldn’t want to become in any way cruel to anybody.

“I think in terms of my career, there’s been some remarkable achievements, and some things that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.”

Jodie Taylor, striker of England’s Women’s World Cup final triumph, left Arsenal to move to Chelsea.

Hayes said: “I believe that there is a very special bond there between the women and the guys and we share some beliefs and some opinions.

“One of those opinions I would take quite seriously is what it means to be on equal pay and then what do you do with it?

“But the club’s statement was made because the women are the most successful English team in history. How you set the agenda for the men’s team is amazing for all of us because you give yourself a chance to evolve.”

The England women’s team first earned equal payments to the men’s after winning the World Cup in 2015.

The club had insisted the men’s and women’s sides were treated “equal” from the first day, but for some time now men’s and women’s players have been picked from the same squad and are paid the same.

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