Simon Jordan Criticizes Emma Hayes for Making Generalizations about 'Male Aggression' in Women's Football, Warns of Potential Culture Clash

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It was disappointing to watch and listen to the weekend spat between Chelsea’s Emma Hayes and Arsenal’s Jonas Eidevall.

Hayes shoved Eidevall at the final whistle of Sunday’s League Cup final in response to what she claimed was ‘male aggression’ on the side of the pitch.

There is no denying there was inappropriate behaviour on both sides but by bringing gender into the debate, Hayes diminished her argument. We want women’s football to be valued, taken seriously and held to the same standards as the men’s game.

This is a slippery slope. Imagine if it was the other way around and Eidevall had labelled Hayes as exhibiting female ‘moodiness’ or a lack of emotional control. 

Emma Hayes wasn’t pleased with the way Jonas Eidevall conducted himself on the touchline 

Eidevall clashed with Chelsea's Erin Cuthbert during the match over use of the match balls

Eidevall clashed with Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert during the match over use of the match balls 

Hayes and Eidevall offered differing opinions on their conduct in post-match interviews, with the Chelsea manager labelling it as 'male aggression'

Hayes and Eidevall offered differing opinions on their conduct in post-match interviews, with the Chelsea manager labelling it as ‘male aggression’ 

Resorting to such lazy stereotypes is not helpful to anyone. Criticising someone by commenting on their gender, race, nationality or physical appearance, alongside the original complaint, just makes things worse. 

A coach intimidated a player. End of story. His behaviour was unacceptable because it was unacceptable, not because he’s a man.

He can’t help being a man and this is one of the challenges the women’s game faces by the very nature of having men involved in it.

Is anyone asking for a women’s only game? Maybe that should be the case then to avoid these scenarios. Maybe we don’t want the best jobs in women’s game going to men when we should be delivering more female coaches. 

Women should undoubtedly be able to develop their game, hone and train their skillset and progress – but at the exclusion of all men? I’m not sure anyone really wants that…. Or maybe they do ?

The women’s game needs to move through the gears, bring in greater commercial sponsorships and grow the game.

I’ve always been a strong advocate for meritocracy but I also believe the women’s game needs support and nurturing to help players become coaches. Hayes has not helped this cause. She crossed the line by making this a men versus women issue. What is the point in that? Football needs to restrict its debate to arguing about the right type of tackle….

Arsenal secured back-to-back League Cup titles after victory over Chelsea last week in front of more than 21,000 fans at Molineux

Arsenal secured back-to-back League Cup titles after victory over Chelsea last week in front of more than 21,000 fans at Molineux

Do we really need a culture war in football? I would suggest not. Everyone needs to realise that inclusivity works worth ways, so let’s make it about his behaviour rather than his gender and move on before this kind of thing alienates everyone and potentially harms the women’s game and takes it back in the dark ages, not least commercially. 

So deep breaths everyone and let’s sort out unprofessional and undesirable behaviour without resorting to what is essentially playground name calling.

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