Soccer-Chelsea appoint Bompastor as new head coach

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Women's Champions League - Final - FC Barcelona v Olympique Lyonnais - San Mames, Bilbao, Spain - May 25, 2024 Olympique Lyonnais coach Sonia Bompastor REUTERS/Vincent West/File Photo

(Reuters) - Chelsea have named Sonia Bompastor as their new head coach on a four-year contract, the Women's Super League champions said on Wednesday.

Bompastor will move from Olympique Lyonnais to succeed Emma Hayes, who left Chelsea at the end of the season after nearly 12 years at the helm to become the head coach of the U.S. Women's National Team.

The 43-year-old Bompastor, who was capped 156 times by the French national team before retiring in 2013, became Lyon's first-team head coach in April 2021.

In her first full season in charge, she led Lyon to a league and European double, becoming the first person to win the UEFA Women's Champions League both as a player and as a head coach.

"I am incredibly grateful to join Chelsea Football Club as the head coach of the women's team. It is an institution in English football," Bompastor said.

"I hope to live up to Emma's legacy and continue the work that has been done in recent years. Let the adventure begin."

The club have additionally unveiled a restructuring and a long-term strategic plan for the women's team. BDT & MSD Partners, an American global merchant bank, have collaborated with Chelsea as financial advisors regarding a potential minority investment in the club.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; editing by Clare Fallon)

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