Emma Hayes underwent an emergency hysterectomy last Tuesday following ongoing battle with endometriosis; Denise Reddy will be making on-field decisions along with Paul Green, who took Friday’s pre-match press conference on Hayes’ behalf; Chelsea face Everton on Sunday in the WSL
Emma Hayes has undergone emergency surgery and will not feature in the Chelsea dugout for the foreseeable future
Emma Hayes will still be involved with Chelsea, says assistant manager Paul Green, after an emergency hysterectomy saw her step back from her full managerial role.
Hayes announced on Thursday she would be away from the day-to-day running of the team after her surgery. She expects to make a full recovery, although did not specify when she might return to the dugout.
In the interim, Green will be joined by assistant manager Denise Reddy and the Chelsea backroom staff in managing the squad. With Hayes’ surgery taking place during the recent international break, it has given them time to organise how they will operate in the head coach’s absence.
Taking on the pre-match press duties on Friday, Green revealed Hayes will still be monitoring the team from home as she recovers.
“We were aware of it just before the international break so that gave the opportunity to get set up,” Green said.
“Of course, Emma’s health is the most important thing beyond football. It was a good window to be able to get in have the surgery and for us to get organised behind the scenes.
“I’ve spoken to her quite a few times over the last week, as you can imagine. She’s making good progress, she’s back at home now and we hope that progress will continue on a daily basis.
“Of course, we wish her a speedy recovery and apart from that, we’ve been looking to get organised behind the scenes. Denise is very experienced, she’s been a head coach in her own right in America and Denmark. Tanya (Oxtoby) has also been a head coach and Stuart (Searle), and I that have worked alongside Emma for 10 years now.
“We were in this situation back in 2018 when Emma was pregnant, so it’s not a new situation and I’ve got full confidence in the staff and the players that we’ll get the results needed to make sure that when Emma comes back, that we’re in a good position on all fronts.
“It’s business as usual for us, it just means our leader won’t be there. It is a blow, but the staff and the players are experienced enough to get through this situation.
“We’ve got Magda and Millie, the two captains, along with other senior players, who I’m sure will be making sure the player maintain their standards and get the results during this period for Emma.
“Emma will definitely still be involved. With the character she is, she’ll be at home watching all the training online, linked into the bench on the matchdays as long as she’s well enough to do that so she’ll be heavily involved. I’m sure it’ll be difficult for her to watch the games at home, but hopefully we can play well in those games and get the results needed.
“Emma is very open and honest and a real inspiration or everybody out there. This is just another example of her being very open and getting women’s issues out there for everybody to talk about which maybe isn’t the case on a daily basis.
“It wasn’t a surprise to me when she decided she wanted to put the statement out and be completely transparent with her own situation.”
Chelsea’s next three games are away in the WSL to Everton on Sunday and Brighton, live on Sky Sports, either side of a trip to PSG in the Champions League.
Speaking about the weekend’s match against Everton, Green added: “We’re all looking forward to it. Denise and I will make sure the team are ready for the game.
“We’ve got full respect for Everton, we know they’re a very good team under a new manager, who Denise and I know quite well. We’re looking forward to the challenge and everybody will be doing all they can to get the three points on Sunday.”
“Last Tuesday I underwent an emergency hysterectomy following my ongoing battle with endometriosis. I’m now in recovery and will need time and patience to return to full health.
“I just want to say thank you also to my amazing doctors, Dr Alex Laurence and Dr Sally Harris for their outstanding care. A huge thank you to our owners, the board and our HR director, Jo Stone, for the support they’ve shown and of course all of my family, staff and players.
“Throughout my absence, Denise Reddy will be making the on-field decisions along with Paul Green who will be carrying out all press obligations on my behalf.
“We have built a tremendous team over many years and we’ve adopted a very multi-disciplinary approach so that if situations like this arise, we are capable of being able to respond to the challenge. We have full confidence in Paul, Denise and all of the staff.
“We also know the team are very special and we have no doubt they’ll do everything to maintain their high standards.’To our fans, you’ve had to listen to me bellowing from the other side of the pitch every week but now I want to hear you even louder because I’ll be sitting at home watching the team on the television until my return.
“I know you’ll respect that my health comes first and at this time I’ve got to prioritise what I need to do for me. I fully expect to make a full recovery and I look forward to seeing you in the foreseeable future.
“All the best,