Tottenham Hotspur executive director Darren Eales has left Tottenham Hotspur to become the president of Atlanta's MLS expansion club. The club does not yet have a name and will not begin play until 2017, but are gearing up for their debut now, and have turned to Spurs for the man to lead them.
According to Atlanta, Eales will stay with Tottenham for the next few weeks, transitioning away from the club before joining up with the MLS side full-time before the end of the year.
Eales was in-house legal counsel, director and club secretary at West Brom before joining Spurs in 2010, where he played a big role in transfers. He helped negotiate and execute all player transfers, a natural role for a lawyer. He was part of the Gareth Bale sale to Real Madrid and -- this probably helped him get his job with Atlanta more than anything -- negotiated the sales of Robbie Keane, Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Defoe to MLS, while also working on Spurs' purchase of DeAndre Yedlin.
Spurs have yet to comment on Eales' departure, and thus, we do not know what the clubs' plans to replace him are. But Atlanta did send out a press release confirming the hire so there is no doubt that he is leaving Tottenham.
Atlanta's MLS team is owned by Arhtur Blank, who founded Home Depot and also owns the Atlanta Falcons of the NFL. The team will play in a new $1.2 billion stadium being built in downtown Atlanta for both the Falcons and the MLS team.