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Newcastle have appointed former Atlanta United president Darren Eales as their new chief executive officer.

The 49-year-old Cambridge law graduate will work alongside sporting director Dan Ashworth at St James’ Park, reprising a partnership formed at West Brom between 2006 and 2010.

He has been recruited after a lengthy search by the Magpies’ new owners, who took over the club in October last year and initially worked with Mike Ashley’s managing director Lee Charnley during a handover period.

Chelmsford-born Eales said: “Newcastle United is both a giant of a club, and the heartbeat of its community. Every time I have visited St James’ Park, I’ve been overwhelmed by the passion of the fans.

“This is a club with an amazingly rich heritage, and I am delighted to be joining for this new chapter in its long history.

“I am grateful for the opportunity, and look forward to working with the rest of the team to help this storied club fulfil its potential.”

Eales joins the club from MLS side Atlanta, where he had served as both president and chief executive since the club was founded in 2014 and presided over success both on and off the field.

He boasts a first-class honours degree in economics from the Ivy League Brown University, where he played college football, and read law at Cambridge before being called to the bar.

His time at West Brom was followed by a spell as Tottenham’s director of football administration before his return to the United States and his reign at Atlanta.

A spokesman for Newcastle’s investment group, which comprises Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports and Media, said: “We are delighted to announce Darren Eales as the club’s new CEO. 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.”