Mesut Ozil saves Arsenal mascot ‘Gunnersaurus’ from extinction | United Kingdom
The German playmaker offers to pay the wages of a giant green dinosaur after the man behind the mascot was released amid falling revenues.
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has stepped in to save the club’s giant Gunnersaurus from extinction after it was revealed the man behind the mascot was released as part of cost-cutting measures.
Jerry Quy, who has played the role of the dinosaur mascot since 1993, was released while the stadiums were empty during the coronavirus crisis.
“I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous and loyal mascot @Gunnersaurus and an integral part of our club was sacked after 27 years,” tweeted Ozil on Tuesday.
“As such, I’m offering to reimburse @Arsenal for our big green man’s full salary as long as I’ll be an Arsenal player …”
I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous and loyal mascot @Gunnersaurus and an integral part of our club was sacked after 27 years. As such, I’m offering to reimburse @Arsenal for our big green man’s full salary as long as I’m an Arsenal player … pic.twitter.com/IfWN38x62z
– Mesut Özil (@ MesutOzil1088) October 6, 2020
The club said the mascot would return once fans were re-admitted to football matches in the UK after coronavirus security measures were eased, although it was not clear whether Quy would continue in that role.
Arsenal fans responded with delight to Ozil’s gesture. Several social media users thanked the German-born midfielder.
Mesut Ozil has offered to pay the Gunnersaurus salary and bring back the Arsenal mascot. Mesut is such a special person, Gunnersaurus is officially back and the kids will be very happy. Wow, what’s not to love about this football club? Pic.twitter.com/hUv4hzhA6w
– UpYourArsenal🔴⚪🔴⚪ ♥ ️ (@ UPYOURARSENAL04) October 6, 2020
A GoFundMe page titled “Save Gunnersaurus” has raised over £ 10,000 (US $ 13,000).
The side reads: “Gunnersaurus has been the Arsenal club’s mascot for 27 years. He’s a club icon and we can’t let him die out.
“Played by Jerry Quy, a lifelong fan, it would be a terrible shame to lose him. The mascot league is the only one where we’re always ahead of the game. Let’s keep our all-time top scorer on top. “
Regardless of how it ends, it was a pleasure to have such a classy person representing my football club for almost a decade. pic.twitter.com/xD4pvwZeDu
– Patrick Timmons (@ PatrickTimmons1) October 6, 2020
Ozil, 31, is with Arsenal through 2021 and earns £ 350,000 ($ 454,300) a week.
Despite being one of the club’s highest earning players, he has not appeared for the team since March after falling out of favor with the club’s manager, Mikel Arteta.
FA Cup winners Arsenal announced in August that 55 jobs were being cut due to the damaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the club’s finances.
The Premier League club said its main sources of income were all affected, including broadcast income, match day income and business operations.