AFC Wimbledon could make Emma Hayes the first ever female to take up a manager’s role on the men’s side of professional English football, according to The Express.
The League One side parted with Glyn Hodges on Saturday after a 2-0 defeat to bitter rivals MK Dons, leaving them in 21st and with just one win from their last 13 games.
The south London side are now underdoing the task of replacing Hodges and according to The Express, Hayes is one of the shock names in contention.
She’s the current manager of Chelsea Women and her team have now gone a whopping 33 games unbeaten in the Women’s Super League, having won the division title without defeat last season.
That’s one of three WSL titles on Hayes’ CV alongside two Women’s FA Cups and a Women’s League Cup, which have all been obtained since becoming Blues boss back in 2012.
Nine years on, Hayes is said to be so well-regarded that she was even mentioned as a potential replacement for Frank Lampard, having recently been relived of his duties as the manager of Chelsea’s men’s team.
The appointment would be a truly historic moment for the sport that could well trigger discussions on the perceptions of women in football and how they need to change for the better over the coming years.
However, Hayes faces pretty strong competition to actually get the job, with the likes of Ian Holloway, Sol Campbell, Joey Barton and Neil Harris also potential candidates for the Wimbledon vacancy.
And while Hayes would be a first for English football, elsewhere in Europe it has happened before.
Clermont Foot have appointed both Helena Costa and Corinne Diacre previously, while Renate Blindheim took charge of Norway side Sotra last summer and Imke Wubbenhorst has worked with German sides BV Cloppenburg and Sportfruende Lotte.
Nonetheless, Wimbledon appointing Hayes would no doubt send shockwaves throughout English football and draw plenty of attention for both the right and, sadly, the wrong reasons.