Chelsea boss Emma Hayes calls for more consideration of player welfare following tight schedule of Blues games 

7 months ago 55

EMMA HAYES hit out at scheduling that saw Chelsea play a Saturday lunchtime game after an early Thursday morning return to England from Spain.

The Blues boss thinks footballers should be involved in WSL TV deal talks to ensure player welfare is discussed.

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Emma Hayes criicised the scheduling that saw her players compete in a Saturday lunchtime game as one of three Chelsea matches played in six games[/caption]
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Hayes revealed her players arrived back in London around four in the morning on Thursday after their 2-2 draw with Real Madrid[/caption]
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Lauren James scored her first WSL hat-trick during Chelsea’s defeat of Liverpool at Stamford Bridge[/caption]

Hayes was speaking after her side sealed a 5-1 home win at against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. 

The match was their third in six days after away fixtures at Everton last Sunday and Real Madrid on Wednesday night 

Lauren James bagged her first WSL hat-trick for the Blues as they trounced the Reds.

Blues academy graduate Aggie Beever-Jones bagged her first goal at Stamford Bridge for Hayes’ side.

And summer signing Sjoeke Nusken was also on target with her first goal at the stadium. 

The team played their match at 1:30pm following a schedule that included them  travelling back to London from Spain at half past four on Thursday morning 

This followed their 8:00pm Wednesday night clash with Real Madrid in Spain in the Champions League. 

Hayes said: “As much as you get accustomed to it (with) three games in six days – of course I’m going to hammer TV and the league.

“It’s because I feel like nobody really understands how hard that is to do. 

“We’re the only (English) team in Europe (this term) and yet we’re the only association that doesn’t help its team in Europe.

“Spain does, France does, Germany does but we don’t. 

“That for me is disappointing.

“It’s working against ourselves because there is a rule in place that says we can put a TV game on at 1.30pm on a Saturday because there are two days between games. 

“But they’re not factoring in the fact that we’re getting in at 4.30am. And why are we getting in at 4:30 am?  

“Because they’re still drug testing so you can’t leave early because people don’t pee quickly after games, so there’s never really two full days.

“I accept it is coming up again in December.

“We play BK-Hacken, Bristol, and Hacken (again)- three games in six days.

“Don’t we want an English team to try and progress in Europe? 

“The rest of Europe looks at us. and thinks, ‘their league doesn’t even help them’. Jonas made this point last year. 

“It’s something we should seriously look at.”

On whether players should be consulted when it comes to scheduling and the WSL’s next TV deal, Hayes added: “It’s about player welfare, it’s not about Chelsea.  

“In an ideal world, those (groups) making those decisions (should include) former players, former athletes in that decision-making process.

“They really appreciate that it’s not as easy as everybody thinks.”

Saturday’s game saw Hayes’ side open up a six-point lead at the summit. 

Lauren James’ slotted finish gave Chelsea an 11th minute lead.

Liverpool hit back with Shanice van de Sanden’s cross prompting Jess Carter’s own goal. 

Beever-Jones restored Chelsea’s advantage in the 24th minutes before James added two more to clinch her first league hat-trick.

The forward fired in a low strike following Sam Kerr’s assist in the 56th minute. 

And she bagged her third after Johanna Rytting Kaneryd’s delivery eight minutes later shortly after the Sweden ace entered the fray. 

Liverpool thought they had pulled another goal back with Gemma Bonner’s 70th-minute header. 

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Matt Beard’s Reds will hope to return to winning ways when they host Brighton next[/caption]

But play continued with a goal kick despite the visitors’ appeals

Nusken made it 5-1 with a tap-in following another Rytting Kaneryd assist.

Her finish rounded off Chelsea’s sixth win in seven WSL games this term ahead of a duel with Leicester on November 26.

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