Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has offered to cover the cost of Gunnersaurus’ salary in order to keep the long-standing mascot at the club.
It has been reported in England that Jerry Quy, who has performed matchday and event duties for 27 years in the famous green dinosaur costume, will be made redundant as part of the Gunners’ cost-cutting measures.
The rumours prompted an outcry from a number of fans, with a GoFundMe page set up to help to spare him from dismissal, while former player Paul Merson told Sky Sports News: “There will be 30 and 40-year-old fans who have grown up with that dinosaur. It’s disappointing, I think it’s poor by Arsenal, I really do.”
While the decision to dismiss Gunnersaurus has not yet been announced by Arsenal, Ozil has made it clear he will do what he can to keep him in a job for as long as he is a player at the club.
“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,” he wrote on Twitter.
“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”
Arsenal have undergone significant internal restructuring to reduce outgoings amid the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with 55 jobs axed in August, including that of recruitment specialist Francis Cagigao.
Despite this, the club have invested large sums in strengthening the playing squad, extending Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract at a reported cost of £250,000 per week and signing Willian on a free transfer.
They also spent in the region of £77.4million on the signings of Thomas Partey, Gabriel Magalhaes, Pablo Mari and Runar Alex Runarsson.
Ozil, who is said to earn close to £350,000 a week, has not made any of Arsenal’s matchday squads in 2020-21 after falling out of favour under manager Mikel Arteta.
His last appearance was in the 1-0 Premier League win over West Ham on March 7.