Spurs Executive Takes Up Club Presidency At MLS Atlanta
Thu 11th Sep 2014 | Clubs Ownership
MLS Atlanta has appointed Darren Eales as President of Major League Soccer’s 22nd team.
He will join the club later this year, following a transition period with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (THFC).
A former Ivy League Player of the Year, NSCAA All-America and U.S. professional soccer player, British-born Eales currently serves as executive director at THFC. In this role, he touched on all major aspects of soccer operations, including the club’s overall soccer strategy, succession planning, player acquisitions, performance analysis, first team administration, player development, academy and medical supervision.
Eales helped to negotiate and execute all player transfers, including playing a key role in the 2013 world record transfer fee sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. He was closely involved in three of the top six transfers involving MLS players (Robbie Keane, Clint Dempsey and Jermain Defoe) and recently helped to complete negotiations for the transfer of United States Men’s National Team and Seattle Sounders player DeAndre Yedlin to THFC.
“Soccer is a lifetime passion of mine, and to have the chance to come to Atlanta and build a club from the ground up is extremely exciting,” said Eales.
“I’m going to have the rare experience of getting to know the fans from the outset, and I’m eager to engage them in the process, from naming the team to creating an incredible atmosphere at our matches.
“It’s also a fantastic opportunity to have the support of a respected owner in Arthur Blank and the chance to field a team in a brand new state-of-the-art facility.
“MLS is going from strength to strength, and really making its mark, so it’s a privilege to be part of its expansion. I’m looking forward to being a part of MLS Atlanta and helping to make this a great success story.”
In anticipation of the club’s arrival in the league, MLS Atlanta has already set records in fan participation, with more than 5,300 fans signed up for the Founders Club season ticket programme resulting in over 15,500 seats reserved. With half of the new Atlanta stadium already filled, MLS Atlanta Owner Arthur Blank recently challenged soccer fans to fill the remaining 11,000 seats by the end of the year.
“We couldn’t be happier with Darren’s decision to join us as president of MLS Atlanta,” said club Owner Arthur Blank.
“He brings a unique depth of experience to our organization, having played in the U.S. professionally and given his dealings with MLS as a club executive and legal counsel in the Premier League.
“His credentials speak for themselves; he knows how to lead a first-class organization and build a winning team.”
Prior to joining THFC in 2010, Eales served as in-house legal counsel, director and club secretary at West Bromwich Albion for four years.
Posted by: Aaron Gourley
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