Lack of female coaches in professional football a big problem – Jonas Eidevall

Phil Medlicott, PA

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall says a lack of female coaches in the game is a “big problem”, describing it as “the most under-tapped resource in professional football”.

Eidevall’s side on Sunday travel to Brighton, who last month brought in Jens Scheuer as their new boss as a replacement for Hope Powell.

That left the number of clubs in the Women’s Super League with female managers at four out of 12.

When that was put to Eidevall on Friday at his pre-match press conference and he was asked how to try to get more female coaches into the game and coaching in the WSL, he said: “I think the question is wrong – it’s not the WSL.

“The problem is that you see, in all the technical staff in all the professional clubs on the men’s side, how many female technical staff do you have in the game?

“It’s incredible when you see in all other parts of society…You can have female prime ministers, you can have female presidents. But you can’t have a female coach coaching in the Premier League for some reason? Why?

“I think it has to be the most under-tapped resource that is in professional football, female coaches. There is no reason why you can’t be female and be a top coach.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes is one of only four female head coaches in the WSL
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes is one of only four female head coaches in the WSL (John Walton/PA)

“So you’re absolutely right with the numbers, that it’s a big problem that there are not more female coaches, but that’s not the WSL in isolation – that’s the whole game.

“I can’t get my head around how that is possible, that still now nothing happens, and that people are very content that nothing is happening.”

Female coaches are supported through a team of grassroots coaching developers, and the Football Association also provides fully-funded opportunities in coaching programmes for under-represented groups in the game.

However, officials are understood to accept that it may take some time to impact the top levels of the game.

The PA news agency has approached the Premier League for comment.