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France's Sonia Bompastor was named as the Chelsea manager on Wednesday, departing Lyon to succeed new U.S. women's national team head coach Emma Hayes in London.

Bompastor has long been considered the favorite to take over the role, with NWSL coaches Casey Stoney and Laura Harvey also on the list according to ESPN, and made it official with a four year deal. A female coach was a priority for Chelsea, per Sky Sports, with the aim of hiring someone who would follow in Hayes' footsteps as a passionate advocate for the women's game.

The 43-year-old began her senior managerial career at Lyon in 2021, leading them to three Division 1 titles and triumph in the UEFA Women's Champions League in 2022. Bompastor was also in charge during Lyon's unbeaten domestic league campaign this season and made the UWCL final, which they lost 2-0 to Barcelona in Bilbao, Spain on Saturday. It's an impressive feat for Bompastor, who was entrusted to keep Lyon competitive in Europe as they switched from serial winners to top-tier competitors amid more investment in the women's game.

Bompastor's Lyon team played in a 4-3-3 frequently and was known for their attacking prowess, with Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg scoring 12 goals in Division 1 this season and Kadidiatou Diani leading the UWCL scoring charts with eight goals. That style of play will be welcomed at Chelsea, which was a high-scoring team throughout Hayes' 12 years in charge, as will her  Champions League pedigree. Bompastor is the only female coach to win the UWCL in the last 15 years, the one trophy that escaped Hayes during her illustrious spell in London.

Big shoes to fill

Much like she was at Lyon, Bompastor will be tasked with continuing Chelsea's reputation of success, which Hayes was the architect of. Chelsea was a semi-professional club when Hayes became one of the first female coaches in the Women's Super League in 2012, and had limited resources to pull from. We had nothing," Hayes said on NBC's "Today" Show last week. "We had no soccer balls, we had no office, I had no staff and over 12 teams, we've gone from nowhere to top three team in the world."

Hayes is now one of the WSL's most successful managers, winning the title eight times and lifting the FA Cup five times. She also won The Best FIFA Football Coach Award in 2021 and the WSL's manager of the year accolade six times, and also became the first woman to win the Football Writers' Association Tribute Award this year.

She also pushed for increased investment at the club, which began to pay players full-time in 2015 and has set the standards in the women's game in England. Some of specific changes she called for were more opportunities for women's teams to play in bigger stadiums, tailoring individualized player plans around their menstrual cycles and additional medical support for players during pregnancy.

Bompastor seems to fully recognize the expectations she's facing.

"I am incredibly grateful to join Chelsea Football Club as the head coach of the women's team," she said in a statement issued by the club. "It is an institution in English football. I will give my all to this new project to meet the ambitions of the club, the staff and the players. I hope to live up to Emma's legacy and continue the work that has been done in recent years. Let the adventure begin."

Potential for new investment

Chelsea coupled the Bompastor news with an announcement that they are seeking new investors for the women's team as part of a new strategic growth plan.

The club hired global merchant bank BDT & MSD Partners to scout prospective investors, who are expected to take a minority stake in the women's team. This confirms a Bloomberg report from earlier this month that Chelsea received interest from potential minority owners, which could assist the club as it aims to skirt Premier League penalties for breaching spending rules as it pertains to the men's team.

Chelsea teased that new stakeholders could lead to more investment in infrastructure, training facilities and player development. In the meantime, though, the club will restructure things so that the women's team will have specific resources and operate alongside the men's team rather than behind it. Chelsea will now have funds, management and commercial leadership staff that are earmarked for the women's team. The restructure will also allow the club to court investors specific to the women's team, rather than using the men's team as a conduit for resources to the women's team.