Club bid emotional farewell to key figure ahead of Newcastle United transfer

Newcastle United will welcome their new Chief Executive Officer on board in the coming weeks.

Darren Eales has bid an emotional farewell to Atlanta United ahead of joining Newcastle United as Chief Executive Officer.

It was announced in July that Eales would be leaving his role as club president at the MLS outfit to join a new dawn on Tyneside.

Atlanta’s 2-1 victory against Seattle Sounders at the Mercedez-Benz stadium on Saturday signalled the end of Eales’ hugely successful eight-year spell.

Eales will enjoy a two-break before officially starting as Magpies CEO on August 22, the day after Premier League champions Manchester City visit St James’ Park.

Chelmsford-born chief Eales celebrated his 50th birthday at the weekend and watched The Five Stripes score a 94th-minute winner versus Seattle via Andrew Gutman.

Not only that, Atlanta fans, staff and players paid a huge tribute to Eales, who had been with the MLS club since its inception in 2014.

During his time in the US, Eales, through enhancing the club’s brand, which included building a franchise, securing the highest average attendance in MLS, creating the most valuable squad and generating the largest profits, was twice named MLS Executive of the Year.

He was also named World Football Summit Executive of the Year in 2019 after Atlanta won multiple trophies, including the MLS Cup, the US Open Cup and the Campeones Cup.

Eales will again work closely with sporting director Dan Ashworth after previously linking up at West Bromwich Albion between 2006 and 2010. Eales has also worked at Tottenham Hotspur.

“We are delighted to announce Darren Eales as the club’s new CEO,” Newcastle’s owners said last month. “He is an exceptional leader and is a great fit for Newcastle United.

“We have conducted an exhaustive recruitment process to ensure we identified and secured the right individual for the CEO position, and we are confident we have found that person in Darren.

“He has a deep understanding of the football industry and what it takes to achieve growth and success, and he will be a key member of the club’s leadership team as we look to deliver on the club’s potential on and off the pitch.”

Eales is expected to carry out a similar job at Newcastle by boosting the club’s commercial income and improving fan engagement.