Chelsea manager calls for WSL expansion to ’16 or 18 teams’

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Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has called for the expansion of the Women’s Super League (WSL) from its 12-club format to 16 or even 18 teams.

Chelsea have won six of the last seven league titles and sealed last season’s triumph with a WSL record of 58 points and 19 wins. In second place are Manchester United, just two points behind Hayes’ side.

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“It’s time to grow up. It’s time to go from 12 to 16 or 18 teams,” Hayes said at a news conference Friday.

England’s women’s top flight was established in 2010 and Chelsea have been a dominant force in recent years.

“A lot of people said we weren’t at our best last season, but we had a record points total to win the league.

“There is more unpredictability than ever. The opening game proved that [Liverpool beat expected title challengers Arsenal 2-1 at Emirates Stadium]. The question we should be asking is when are we going to make our league bigger?”

Chelsea, who sit fifth in the table after a 2-1 opening day win over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, will travel to Manchester City on Sunday.

Hayes said the Australian forward Sam Kerr “Available for selection” after missing the home game against Tottenham with a calf injury.

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