Todd Kline – the man Tottenham brought in to land a naming rights sponsor for their stadium – has resigned and is set to join Chelsea.
The American was brought to the club in 2021 with high hopes of bringing in a lucrative partner. However, close to three years on, a deal remains elusive and Mail Sport understands he has now stepped down from the role of chief commercial officer.
In 2016 Kline was key to an 18-year naming rights for the Dolphins stadium in Miami which saw entertainment venue Hard Rock shell out a reported £180m.
But his time in north London has seen a substantial turnover within his department with many long-serving and well-liked members of staff leaving the club.
And with the stadium still without a sponsor, it has appeared for some time that the writing was on the wall.
Todd Kline (right) has resigned from his role as chief commercial officer at Tottenham Hotspur
Kline was brought in to land a naming rights sponsor for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
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The landmark, £1bn venue opened in 2019 and is now approaching half a decade without a partner. Such naming rights deals are key to top flight clubs, not least given the impact they have on profit and sustainability rules. Since Kline’s arrival, Spurs have held talks with the likes of Google, Uber, FedEx and Amazon. But a deal – and huge subsequent injection of funds – has failed to materialise.
The tenure of Kline, who was also a club director, has been turbulent. Under his watch long-serving commercial director Fran Jones left to join Brentford in what was viewed as a huge loss. Insiders described the level of turnover in Kline’s department as ‘astonishing’. Some are known to have departed without other jobs to go to.
Kline’s time at the club also saw them lose a proposed and highly controversial £42.5m deal with South Africa following intervention from the country’s parliament tourism chair.
Tottenham are thought to have been seeking £25m a year for a stadium deal, and their search will now continue without Kline. Staff were informed that he had resigned this morning and had been placed on a period of gardening leave