England manager Sarina Wiegman has expressed her satisfaction with the equal treatment she has received from the English Football Association. Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live about her new book, ‘What It Takes: My Playbook on Life and Leadership’, Wiegman discussed the departure of Emma Hayes from Chelsea after an impressive 11-year tenure as the women’s team manager.
Hayes is set to become the new head coach of the US women’s national team, with reports suggesting she will earn the same salary as the US men’s national team manager, Gregg Berhalter. This would make her the highest-paid women’s manager in the world. Wiegman believes that this move is positive for the women’s game as a whole, stating, “For the bigger picture of the women’s game, I think it’s good. What you hope is that with her visibility, and with more coaches that are visible, we get more female coaches that can do a great job.”
Wiegman emphasized the need for more women in football at all levels, expressing her hope that more female coaches will enter the profession. While acknowledging that Hayes’ departure is a loss for both England and Chelsea, Wiegman believes it will ultimately benefit the women’s game.
Regarding her own situation, Wiegman, who reportedly earns £400,000 per year with the FA, stressed that gender equality in football is not solely about money. She highlighted the importance of facilities, full-time staff, and opportunities to perform at the highest level. Wiegman expressed her satisfaction with the treatment she has received, stating, “I feel equally treated, and that feels really good.”
Wiegman has achieved remarkable success as a manager, reaching four major tournament finals in a row. She won the 2017 European Championship with the Netherlands and guided the team to the 2019 Women’s World Cup final, where they were defeated by the United States. Wiegman then took on the role of England manager, leading the team to victory at Euro 2022 before suffering a loss in the 2023 Women’s World Cup final against Spain.
The Lionesses have faced challenges in their quest to secure a spot for Team GB at the Paris 2024 Olympic women’s football tournament, losing to the Netherlands and Belgium in the UEFA Women’s Nations League. Despite this, Wiegman remains confident in their ability to qualify, stating, “The next two games, we have to win and then wait to see what happens. We always want to win, we always approach a game to win.”
Wiegman expressed her satisfaction with the team’s recent performances, highlighting the positive aspects of their play. Although disappointed with the loss to Belgium, she believes that the chances created and the overall performance were impressive. Wiegman remains optimistic about their chances of qualifying for Paris 2024.
England’s upcoming Nations League fixtures against the Netherlands and Scotland in December will be crucial in their pursuit of Olympic qualification.