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Emma Hayes says ‘male privilege has always been at the centre of football’

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EMMA HAYES insists misogynist attitudes toward female pundits in men’s football must evolve.

And the Chelsea chief believes systemic sexism has become “normal” for parts of the football-following public.

Joey Barton has come under fire for his remarks after stating "women shouldn't be talking with any authority about men's football"
Barton clashed with Sky Sports broadcaster Bianca Westwood following criticism of his comments

Hayes, whose Blues visit Arsenal tomorrow, was sharing her thoughts after Joey Barton stated “women shouldn’t be talking with any authority in the men’s game”.

Barton, who was sacked as head coach of Bristol Rovers in October, has been criticised by leading figures and followers of football.

It follows him posting his remarks on the social media platform X and taking potshots at the punditry skills of a young female Man City TV presenter. 

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And he doubled down on his criticism in a tense debate on Sun columnist Piers Morgan’s Uncensored show with Sky Sports broadcaster Bianca Westwood.

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The retired Manchester City player, who once publicly supported the ‘Her Game Too’ campaign against sexism in sport, has faced a backlash from scores of female pundits and players.

Of the issue of misogyny within the game, yesterday Hayes said: “The realities are that male privilege is something that’s always been at the centre of football.

“Women were banned from playing football (on FA grounds) up until the seventies, so I don’t expect many individual personalities to understand their privilege.

“Nonetheless, you only have to see scores of women on the internet, whether a presenter, coach or player, to realise we are routinely used to dealing with systemic misogyny and bullying behaviour which is pretty normal for a large part of the football public.

“The realities are that I find the debate interesting; we should have the debate without being personal, and I am not referring to any individuals.

“I feel that sport is probably the last place in society where that male privilege exists.

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“If I go all Darwinism on us and speak on evolutionary theory, when there is an existential threat, you either evolve or die. It is one or the other.”

Hayes, whose side are top of the league and unbeaten in the WSL so far this term, is due depart her role as Chelsea boss at the end of this season.

The London-born head coach is set to take charge of the USA’s national women’s football ahead of them competing in the Paris Olympics next summer.

Chelsea take on Arsenal at the Emirates  in WSL with more than 57,000 tickets sold ahead of the match

The Blues chief has also done punditry covering the women’s and men’s game’s including working for ITV during the men’s Euros in 2021

And her efforts saw named Pundit of the Year by TV industry news source Broadcast

Hayes added: “If you haven’t experienced systemic misogyny, like lots of us have, you can’t for one moment understand how detrimental some of these conversations are knowing that anything anyone says just enables an absolute pile on, particularly on social media.”

Source: The Sun

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