What Sonia Bompastor’s appointment means for Chelsea 

BOMPASTOR will take charge of Chelsea following Emma Hayes’ departure. 

After rumours were spread online, it has now been officially confirmed that Sonia Bompastor will take hold of the Chelsea Women reigns on a four-year contract. 

Hayes will be jetting to the USA as she begins her management of the USWNT, after Vlatko Andonovski resigned in August 2023. 

Bompastor’s appointment was announced following the UEFA Women’s Champions League final, in which Olympique Lyonnais fell to a 2-0 defeat by Barcelona Femení. 

The French manager had been in charge of the Division 1 Féminine side since 2021, and previously worked in the Academy. 

With Lyon, she has guided the team to three consecutive league titles, a Coupe de France win, the Trophée des Championnes and, of course, the prestigious UWCL in her first season as the Senior manager. 

The UWCL trophy is something Hayes failed to achieve with Chelsea, a gut-wrenching fact when you consider how many items she keeps in her trophy cabinet. 

Chelsea came close in 2020/21 having finally made it to the last stage of the competition under Hayes, but their 4-0 defeat to Barca proved they still had more of the European women’s football mountain to climb. 

Having said that, Chelsea were never far from causing a UWCL upset against the best of the best. 

Lyon and Barcelona have always been regarded as the two most elite teams in Europe, but Chelsea still found ways to ruffle their feathers. 

This season, they drew Barcelona in the semi-finals and left Catalonia with a surprising 1-0 First Leg win. 

Famous moments also include Ann-Katrin Berger’s heroic penalty shoot-out performance against Lyon in 2023, and when Maren Mjelde scored that goal against Paris Saint Germain in 2019. 

The UWCL is never shy from bathing itself in drama. 

So, in comes Bompastor, fresh out of a UWCL final having lost to the team everyone is trying to beat (Lyon did so in 2022’s final but Barca have been practically untouchable ever since). 

It will appease Chelsea fans to know that their team will continue to be managed by someone that has plenty of experience in working with a deeply talented squad. 

Whilst the Blues managed to finish this season uncharacteristically with only one trophy, the WSL title, it can’t be ignored what difference Hayes’ signings have made this year. 

Sjoeke Nüsken signed from Eintracht Frankfurt last summer and proved to be an incredibly versatile player, starting in midfield, centre-half and centre-forward. 

All eyes were on January signing Mayra Ramirez, who came in to fill the number nine role following ACL injuries to Sam Kerr and Mia Fishel. 

Her dominating presence in the box made her a nuisance for opposition defenders, and she scored two very necessary goals in Chelsea’s final day tie with Manchester United. 

Hayes has always been blessed with a big budget and an extensive Academy talent pool to choose from, note Aggie Beever-Jones. 

But her management style, however sometimes strict and scary, gets the best out of her players, new and existing. 

Emma Hayes took charge of her first USWNT training camp this week ahead of their friendly with South Korea.

Bompastor won’t be a completely new face to all the players however, having previously managed Catarina Macario and Kadeisha Buchanan at Lyon. 

Her 85% win rate at Lyon isn’t something to be ignored, however the nature of the WSL and its competition is a very different breed. 

Chelsea’s league title this year was their fifth consecutive WSL trophy, and whilst they continue to demonstrate how they are the best team in the country, a European title has continued to dangle in front of them just slightly out of their reach. 

No-one could ever doubt the magical wonders of Hayes’ managerial ability, but all at Chelsea will be hoping Bompastor is the woman to take the team to the position of European giants.

About El Reid

Media Manager: @itchenwf Content Creator: @sotonwomensfc

View all posts by El Reid →