ATLANTA - Atlanta United President Darren Eales is departing for the English Premier League, the club announced officially on Friday.
The only president in the club's history will remain in Atlanta through Aug. 8 before becoming the CEO of Newcastle United. Eales will begin his new job with Newcastle on Aug. 22.
"It has been the adventure and honor of a lifetime to help build Atlanta United," Eales said in a statement. "I will always be grateful to Arthur Blank, both for giving me the initial opportunity, and for providing unparalleled support and leadership throughout the journey. I have been privileged to work with an amazing team of people who rolled up their sleeves and made a vision into reality. And I have loved being a part of this vibrant city, with its brilliant, passionate supporters. Thank you, Atlanta, and thank you 17s."
Eales was Atlanta United's founding club president in 2014 and helped lead the Five Stripes to an MLS Cup victory in 2018. Under Eales, Atlanta United also won the US Open Cup in 2019 and the Campeones Cup in 2019.
"Darren Eales is one of the best hires I’ve made in my career and the strength and success of Atlanta United to date is a credit to him not only as a leader, but as a passionate footballer," team owner Arthur Blank said. "I’m thrilled for Darren to have this new opportunity to lead Newcastle and I see it as a very positive reflection of Atlanta United and what our club has achieved in such a short time. Darren is more than ready to lead Newcastle and I know he’ll be an outstanding leader of that club. He leaves with my deepest respect, admiration and very best wishes for him, Faith and their two beautiful sons."
Success on the pitch has proven more difficult to come by in recent seasons. At the time Eales' departure was announced, Atlanta United was 10th in the Eastern Conference and outside of playoff contention. If Atlanta United doesn't improve its standing, it would be the second time in the franchise's six seasons history the club missed the playoffs.
Eales came to Atlanta from English Premier League's Tottenham Hotspur Football Club where he served as Executive Director.
Eales joins former Atlanta midfielder Miguel Almiron at Newcastle.