Sarina Wiegman has made the “impossible job more possible” according to FA CEO Mark Bullingham, with the Dutch coach warning that she has unfinished business with the Lionesses after signing a new deal.
The FA announced on Tuesday that Wiegman had signed a new contract with the England’s women’s team taking her through to after the 2027 World Cup. Her new deal sees her become one of the highest paid coaches in women’s football alongside Emma Hayes.
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While Bullingham wouldn’t go into specifics over the nature of Wiegman’s new deal, he said: “What I would say is we see Sarina as the number one coach in the world in the women’s game and we think that she’s paid accordingly. I don’t know what other people in other federation’s are paid, but I can say I think she’s paid accordingly.”
Wiegman led England to the final of the 2023 World Cup where they lost 1-0 to Spain and was previously contracted through to after the 2025 women’s Euros. However, discussions over a new deal between Wiegman and the FA started soon after that painful defeat to Spain and the announcement came the day after Wiegman was named FIFA Best women’s coach of the year for the fourth time.
For so long the top post in English football was called “the impossible job,” the title of the documentary which followed Graham Taylor’s England team when they failed to qualify for the men’s 1994 World Cup. But Bullingham feels the progress the men’s team has made under Southgate and the success the Lionesses have experienced with Wiegman — including that 2022 Euros triumph — have shone a more positive light on the post.
“She is in our mind the best international coach in the women’s game, we are delighted that she’ll be with us for that next cycle of two tournaments,” Bullingham said.
“For us, tournament success has always been absolutely critical. “From our point of view, we’re fortunate to have two fantastic coaches of our senior teams and that’s really evidenced by the fact that we’ve been in the top five in the world in both the men’s and the women’s game, which we think is huge tribute to both of them, and the work that they’ve done. Under them, we’d like to say the impossible job has never seemed more possible.”
In her statement when agreeing the new deal, Wiegman said she had “unfinished business” with England. While the team won the Euros under her guidance, they fell at the final hurdle in the World Cup in August and missed out on Olympics qualification in December. She said she’s always motivated regardless of outcomes, but said while the team “won silver…you always want more”. It all added up to Wiegman feeling it was an easy decision to extend her stay in England.
“I am in the moment right now and I am really enjoying this job,” Wiegman said. “It is very challenging too and I still see that we can improve a lot. That’s what I like 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.”
Bullingham said he was “never too worried” about Wiegman leaving in 2025. “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,” Bullingham said.
“She felt it was the right time after the World Cup. We did that and it was really seamless discussion. I was obviously delighted that she chose to carry on and formalise that, but I think we have had good discussions for some time.”
Wiegman’s immediate task will be to select a squad for two friendlies in February before qualification for Euro 2025 starts in April. She said she is “not scared” the team will “slow down” with Bullingham saying success is judged on many factors, but it essentially comes down to trophies.
“We are very clear in our strategy what our public goals are,” Bullingham said. “They were in our previous four-year cycle to win a major tournament and our next four-year cycle will be the same.
“Obviously those are the things that drive so many aspects, like participation and growth and things like that, so that has to be the ambition.
“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. But at the end of the day, it’s all about trophies.”