Arsenal's Özil eager to pay salary of fired club mascot
LONDON- Anadolu Agency
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil offered on Oct. 6 to pay the salary of the English football club's longtime mascot, who was fired this week to cut costs amid an absence of fans due to COVID-19.
"I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous & 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," Özil said on Twitter.
The 31-year-old added that he is eager to pay for "Gunnersaurus" so Quy can “continue his job that he loves so much.”
Özil, a German citizen of Turkish descent, helped Germany win the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Arsenal was under fire from its fans on social media after the club board sacked the beloved mascot Monday to cut costs amid the pandemic.
In the dinosaur outfit, Quy attended the club's home matches to cheer fans at Arsenal venues Highbury Stadium and Emirates Stadium as well as other club events.
Arsenal played their home matches at Highbury until 2006, when they moved to their new home, Emirates Stadium.
Earlier Tuesday, Spanish football club Sevilla said it signed Gunnersaurus to show solidarity.
"Dreams do come true. Welcome, @Gunnersaurus!, #AnnounceGunnersaurus #DeadlineDay" Sevilla tweeted to welcome the dinosaur mascot.
Gunnersaurus was introduced to Arsenal fans in 1993.
Meanwhile, an Arsenal fan, George Allen, launched a fundraiser on the GoFundMe website to keep Gunnersaurus at the London club. The slogan for the campaign is 'Save Gunnersaurus.’
Fans have so far raised £11,100 (about $14,300).
The goal is £70,000 (around $90,000).