Sarina Wiegman will be one of the highest-paid coaches in women’s football after agreeing a new England deal through to the 2027 World Cup.
It’s understood the Dutchwoman, whose previous deal had been due to expire in 2025, will bank a similar salary to the $1.6m (£1.25 million) Chelsea’s Emma Hayes has agreed to coach US women from May. That deal would have made Hayes outright the highest-paid female football coach in the world.
Wiegman was reportedly earning about £400,000 per year when she guided the Lionesses to glory at Euro 2022 and oversaw their run to last summer’s World Cup final, and said on Tuesday she feels “absolutely valued” by the Football Association.
The 54-year-old’s new terms are not being disclosed but FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “We see Sarina as the No 1 coach in the world in the women’s game and we think that she’s paid accordingly.”
Bullingham added that “the impossible job has never seemed more possible” for both senior England teams under both Wiegman and men’s manager Gareth Southgate, who is believed to earn around £6 million per year.
Wiegman, whose assistant Arjan Veurink has also extended his stay, said she has “unfinished business” with England and that she didn’t have any doubts about staying.
“I am in the moment right now and I am really enjoying this job,” she said. “It is very challenging too and I still see that we can improve a lot. So no, I didn’t have doubts. I just want to stay around a little longer, and I hope we do well and stay successful and win a lot of games.”
Wiegman’s future had been the subject of much speculation during last year’s World Cup. Her success with England has led to links with a series of other high-profile jobs around the world, including suggestions she could be a candidate to replace Southgate, but she has now committed to the Lionesses for two more major tournaments.
Bullingham said he was not concerned about any prospect of Wiegman leaving, adding: “I was never too worried, because we have had lots of positive conversations and we were always really clear that whatever felt like the best time for Sarina to turn positive conversations into legal discussions that we would do that. It was a really seamless discussion. We have had good discussions for some time.”
England will try to defend their European Championship title in Switzerland in 18 months’ time before mounting a bid for a first world title in 2027, and Bullingham added: “Clearly it is really, really hard to win international tournaments, we know that, but to be contenders and to be as best as prepared as we can be is all we can control.”
Wiegman’s side have missed out on the summer’s Olympics on behalf of Team GB and narrowly missed out on a place in February’s Nations League finals, so their next action will be in February. They will play friendlies overseas before their campaign to qualify for 2025’s European Championship begins.
FA is ecstatic but must have a succession plan
This news will be a major boost for England and the FA, not least because it was becoming increasingly unclear which manager they would have turned to if Wiegman had decided to leave in 2025 at the end of her original contract. The list of other experienced and successful women’s coaches with the sufficient profile that could have taken on the England job is not a long one.
Such a high bar has been set by Wiegman, with whom the Lionesses have enjoyed unprecedented success, that there are few coaches in the sport who can compete. The Women’s Super League’s most successful manager, Emma Hayes, was snapped up by the United States and Casey Stoney – widely tipped as a possible future England head coach – is expected to be a strong contender to fill the Chelsea vacancy. Former Wales manager Gemma Grainer has also been appointed by Norway.
During the 2023 World Cup, Wiegman was guarded when asked about her future, but did say that four more years was a “long time” and her love of her family meant weighing up whether to extend her deal was never going to be a quick decision. She has, after all, continued living in the Netherlands throughout her tenure with the Lionesses. Yet, at the same time, it has also been abundantly clear how much she enjoys this job and coaching a group of players who are at the top of their game.
The FA will be ecstatic to have agreed an extended deal for Wiegman, who won the Fifa Best women’s coach award for the fourth time on Monday night. Her success at international level in the modern era has been unrivalled.
Her extension also raises the prospect of a blockbuster showdown with Hayes at the 2027 World Cup if England were to meet Hayes’s US. Both sides will have high expectations for silverware and a new rivalry could be on the cards.