Mesut Ozil offers to reimburse salary of Arsenal’s mascot



Arsenal’s sidelined German midfielder Mesut Ozil has offered to pay the salary of club’s mascot Gunnersaurus after the club reportedly made the decision to make the position redundant to cut costs.

“I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous and loyal mascot @Gunnersaurus and integral part of our club was being made redundant after 27 years. As such, I’m offering to reimburse @Arsenal with the full salary of our big green guy as long as I will be an Arsenal player so Jerry can continue his job that he loves so much,” Ozil tweeted on Tuesday.

The Londoners have been short in midfield with the highly-paid Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi, who has joined Hertha Berlin on a season-long loan, frozen out. The club, however, splashed the cash to sign midfielder Thomas Partey on deadline day after meeting the Ghanaian’s 50 million euro (£45 million, $59 million) buyout clause.

Also on Monday, a petition to save the long-serving Gunnersaurus was made by fans after it was reported the man behind the mascot had been released as part of cost-cutting measures.

Reports in British media said Jerry Quy, who has played the role of the dinosaur mascot since 1993, had been let go, with stadiums empty during the coronavirus crisis.

But the Athletic reported that the Arsenal mascot would return when fans were allowed back.

A GoFundMe page for Quy had been set up to raise funds while many in the football fraternity — including football clubs — expressing their solidarity.

The report of Gunnersaurus’ departure drew widespread condemnation on social media.

Pretty shameful: Twitter reacts to reports of Arsenal releasing long-serving mascot ‘Gunnersaurus’

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright tweeted: “Terrible news. Love you Jerry.”

Former England international and TV presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: “Shouldn’t be necessary, but it might be a good move and an act of kindness for the @Arsenal players and manager to club together and sort out this absurdity.”

FA Cup winners Arsenal announced in August they were planning to cut 55 jobs due to the damaging effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the club’s finances.

The Premier League club said their main sources of income had all been hit, including broadcast revenue, matchday takings and commercial activity.

The German has not played a minute for the club since before the coronavirus lockdown in March.

FA Cup winners Arsenal announced in August they were planning to cut 55 jobs due to the damaging effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the club’s finances.

The Premier League club said their main sources of income had all been hit, including broadcast revenue, matchday takings and commercial activity.

It is understood the Gunnersaurus will return when fans are allowed back into stadiums but it is unclear who will be inside the costume.

With AFP inputs





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