Why Norwich City should consider appointing a woman as their new manager

Should Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes be the next Norwich City manager?

Should Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes be the next Norwich City manager? - Credit: PA

As the shortlist for Norwich City's new manager gets shorter and shorter, with a new candidate being thrown up every waking hour, why does it seem no women are being considered for the job?

Plenty of the usual old names have already been thrown out there, such as Roy Hodgson, along with some of the freshest rising talent from the men's game such as Bodo/Glimt's Kjetil Knutsen.

But a look at the betting odds suggests only one woman has a better than 50/1 chance of taking over at Carrow Road.

That woman is Emma Hayes, manager of Chelsea Women, who is priced at 33/1 with Skybet, someone who is possibly the best female manager in the world, and surely as such should be thought of as one of the best managers in the world full stop.

File photo dated 09-05-2021 of Chelsea manager Emma Hayes celebrates with the FA Women's Super Leagu

Emma Hayes with the WSL trophy. - Credit: PA

As such her proven success in the game should surely mean she would be quite a coup if Norwich City could tempt her to Carrow Road.

One of the bookies' favourites for the job is former Chelsea star Frank Lampard, who has won precisely nothing as a manager, having taken Championship Derby County from a poor sixth place finish, to an excellent sixth place finish, and been sacked from Chelsea after lowering a team worth hundreds of millions to mid-table obscurity.

Compare this with Hayes, who has won the Women's Super League four times, FA Cup twice, League Cup twice and taken her side to the Champions League final, making her a far better candidate for the job than Lampard.

A banner in the stands with a picture of Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes before the UEFA Women's Champ

A banner of Emma Hayes made by Chelsea fans. - Credit: PA

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Surely she should be at the top of the list for any club looking for a new manager?

But Aston Villa, who are also looking for a new manager and have loftier ambitions and a bigger wallet than Norwich City, also don't seem to be interested, with betting sites not even offering a price for her to take over at Villa Park.

Hayes was strongly linked with the AFC Wimbledon job earlier in the year, but described the rumours as an insult to the women's game and when asked if the League One club could even afford her, she replied: "Absolutely not."

Commenting on Wimbledon links, she said the women's game should not be seen as a step down from the men's.

So even if Canaries sporting director Stuart Webber did have his eye on Hayes, a bottom of the table Norwich side would probably also be seen as a step down from a Chelsea side competing at the very top of women's football.

Even so, it seems a little strange that when Premier League jobs arise, women are never even considered for jobs in what is the richest and most-watched football league in the world, while tired old dinosaurs like Steve Bruce, Sam Allardyce and Tony Pulis are seemingly in for every job available.

So far professional men's football in Europe has only ever seen two female managers, both at French Ligue 1 side Clermont Foot in Corrine Diacre and Helena Costa.

Stuart Webber is closing in on Daniel Farke's replacement at Norwich City

Stuart Webber is closing in on Daniel Farke's replacement at Norwich City - Credit: Tony Thrussell/Archant

Diacre was in charge of Clermont for three seasons, achieving two 12th place finishes and one 7th placed finish, before leaving in 2017 to take over as manager of the French Women's National Team, dispelling any myths that a transition between the women's and men's game won't work.

Her predecessor Costa, was not even given the opportunity to manage a single game, being forced to quit after she claimed the club's sporting director was signing players without telling her and even refusing to speak to her.

In the Premier League 100pc of managers are male, while in the Women's Super League it is pretty much an even split between male and female.

Whether it is ignorance or misogyny, the men's game needs to open its doors to female coaches to allow the best managers to earn the best money in the highest profile jobs, and it might even bring struggling clubs some more success.