Emma Hayes has dedicated Chelsea FC Women’s 2019/20 Barclays FA Women's Super League title to the key workers on the frontline after the Blues were crowned league champions for a third time today.
The Blues were awarded the title by The Football Association after it was unanimously agreed that the season could not be finished due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The FA decided to implement an average points per game system to decide the final league placings, with Chelsea leapfrogging Manchester City to clinch top spot, having been a point behind our rivals with a game in hand when the season was prematurely ended.
For Hayes it is a third league title, not counting the Spring Series win in 2017, and a reward for an impressive campaign that saw the Blues lift the Continental Cup in February and go unbeaten in all competitions.
She said: ‘First and foremost, I would like to dedicate this title to the frontline workers who have been the real heroes throughout this pandemic. We cannot thank them enough for their tireless efforts to keep us all safe and healthy right now.
‘Football pales into insignificance at a time like this, but it also has the capacity to bring joy and happiness to fans and communities everywhere. For my players and staff, winning the league is something to be proud of and I will tell them that when I speak to them.
‘A lot of blood, sweat and tears from every player, at every club, has gone in to this season and it is important we recognise that and celebrate the fact we have ended a highly-competitive season as champions.
‘Our continued success would not be possible without the backing of everyone at the club, from Mr Abramovich, whose support has been incredible, to the staff who work with us day in day out. I want to thank them on behalf of myself and my team.
‘Of course we would have preferred to play the remaining games, but player welfare was always our priority and finishing the season was ultimately not possible. We have to respect the decision of the FA, clubs and people involved in the game who have decided this was the best and fairest outcome.
‘I also want to congratulate Manchester City and Arsenal on wonderful seasons. The title-race was shaping up to be one of the best this country has ever witnessed and we look forward to competing again when the WSL resumes.
‘To our fans, I am sorry we can’t celebrate with you but enjoy this success tonight, and over the summer, and we will hopefully see you soon at Kingsmeadow.
‘Finally, to my players and staff I want to say how proud I am of you. We have worked hard this season and to be unbeaten in all competitions at this stage of the year, and have the Continental Cup in the trophy cabinet, is a remarkable feat. Well done, you deserve this!’