The 4 longest serving WSL managers after Emma Hayes & Carla Ward departures

  • Emma Hayes was the longest-serving WSL manager prior to her departure
  • A number of clubs are set to appoint a new manager this summer
  • Man City's Gareth Taylor is now the league's longest-serving head coach
Emma Hayes was Chelsea manager for 12 years
Emma Hayes was Chelsea manager for 12 years / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

A summer of change is expected in the Women’s Super League ahead of the 2024/25 campain as a number of clubs are on the hunt for a new manager.

Previously, the league's longest serving manager by quite some distance, was Chelsea's Emma Hayes. The 47-year-old parted ways with the London club in May after 12 years in the dugout, pursuing a new opportunity with the United States Women's National Team.

Carla Ward had also been in charge of Aston Villa since May 2021 after completing a move from local rivals Birmingham City. After three years at the club, she announced she was set to step away from football for an indefinite amount of time to spend more time with her family.

Leicester City are also set to appoint a new manager following the sacking of Willie Kirk in April. Elsewhere, Brighton finished the season being led by interim head coach Mikey Harris.

90min takes a look at who the WSL's longest-serving managers are now as big names leave.

4. Marc Skinner (Man Utd)

Marc Skinner
Marc Skinner has been handed another year at Man Utd / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Since July 2021

Manchester United boss Marc Skinner is now the fourth longest serving manager in the WSL, beginning his tenure in July 2021. He had previously impressed at Birmingham City, before heading to the NWSL with Orlando Pride and returning to England three years ago.

He's helped guide United to fourth, second and fifth place finishes since his arrival and they clinched their first piece of silverware in 2024 with an FA Cup triumph over Tottenham. The 41-year-old has divided fan opinion but recently signed a new contract until at least the end of next season.

3. Jonas Eidevall (Arsenal)

Jonas Eidevall
Jonas Eidevall is entering a fourth year as Arsenal boss / Morgan Hancock/GettyImages

Since June 2021

Next is Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall. The Swede took charge in June 2021 after spells with Lunds BK and FC Rosengard back home. Also 41, he guided the Gunners to back-to-back Conti Cup successes in 2023 and 2024.

Eidevall, who had developed a personal rivalry with Hayes as Arsenal and Chelsea butted heads over trophies, signed a three-year contract extension with the club in October last year, that should take his tenure until 2026.

2. Matt Beard (Liverpool)

Matt Beard
Matt Beard has been Liverpool manager on two occasions / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

Since May 2021

Matt Beard is in his second spell with the Liverpool after previously guiding them to back-to-back WSL titles in 2013 and 2014.

He took charge for the second time in May 2021 when Liverpool had been reduced to a Championship side following their 2020 relegation. Under Beard's leadership, the Reds were promoted back into the WSL in 2022.

The Reds initially secured a seventh-placed finish on their return, before topping with by cracking the top four in 2023/24 - their highest since 2014. Beard signed a contract extension with the club in September last year.

1. Gareth Taylor (Man City)

Gareth Taylor
Man City is Gareth Taylor's first job in women's football / Copa/GettyImages

Since May 2020

Following Hayes' Chelsea departure, Manchester City manager Gareth Taylor is now the longest-serving WSL boss, having taken over from Nick Cushing just over four years ago.

The former striker first joined City as a boy's youth coach nine years earlier, but has now led the women's first-team to FA Cup and Conti Cup triumphs.

City endured a disappointing campaign in 2022/23, but Taylor was handed another year to keep turning the cogs and the club reaped the rewards when they ran Chelsea all the way to the last game in 2023/24's WSL title race. By March, the 51-year-old had been rewarded with a longer-term contract extension until the summer of 2027.