Chelsea hope Christian Pulisic arrival will raise its US audience
Last Updated: 13/04/19 8:19am
Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said he expects Christian Pulisic’s arrival at Stamford Bridge to boost the club’s profile in the United States.
The 20-year-old American signed for the Blues for £57.6m in January, but was immediately loaned back to Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of this season.
Pulisic can't play for Chelsea in a May 15 charity exhibition at the New England Revolution dubbed the "Final Whistle on Hate," but will play a role in Chelsea's promotional efforts after he joins in July.
"He's a personable boy. He's well-liked in this country," Buck told The Associated Press. "So of course I would expect him when we come here and play some friendly matches, which is what our objective is in the summer of 2020. Then yes, I think he will he will be helpful."
Manchester United has the highest average US viewers among Premier League clubs this season at 630,000 on NBC, NBCSN and their digital streams, topping Arsenal (573,000), Liverpool (563,000) Chelsea (534,000), Manchester City (494,000) and Tottenham (477,000).
However kick off times and appearances on the late Saturday NBC match can impact audience figures.
"The surveys tell us that we're very strong on the two coasts," Buck said. "We have some work to do in Middle America. I think we're doing in round terms as well as any other big club."
Buck reiterated Chelsea's desire to combat anti-Semitism among a small minority of the club's fans.
Speaking to Sky Sports News on April 5, Buck said: "I think the Chelsea supporter base is reflective of society generally and I think we've seen in the last few years a rise of incidents relating to anti-Semitism and that's reflected in our fan base.
"We just wanted to make it clear to those very few fans who are acting inappropriately that we have a very strong position on this issue."
Today, Buck said: "What we're trying to do, mostly in the UK but also here, is educate people, make them aware of the issue and hopefully change some attitudes."
Buck also spoke about plans for a new stadium, which have been on hold since May 2018 due to an unfavourable investment climate.
The American said Tottenham's new 62,062-seater stadium will impact other clubs' planning for new venues and renovations because of its large number of restaurants and bars.
"In our plans for a new stadium, which are currently on hold, we are proposing to do many of the things that Spurs have done, but it's a matter of getting the balance right," Bucx said of the mix of regular and corporate seats.
"We're all trying to get the fans there for longer periods of time, trying to get them into our shop, trying to get them to buy other things, definitely all trying to do that.
"It's not part of the culture historically. But I think it will change."