A German playmaker offers to pay for a giant green dinosaur after releasing a man behind the mascot amid declining revenues.
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has stepped in to save club giants Gunnersaurus from extinction after the man behind the mascot was revealed as part of cost-cutting measures.
Jerry Coy, who has played the dinosaur amulet since 1993, was abandoned as stadiums were empty during the coronavirus crisis.
“I was very sad that Jerry Coy, also known as the famous and loyal mascot of ours, Gunnersaurus, and an integral part of our club, has become redundant after 27 years,” Ozil tweeted Tuesday.
“As such, I offer to compensate Arsenal with the full salary of a great green player as long as I will be an Arsenal player …”
I was so sad that Jerry Coy also known as the famous and loyal mascot Embed a Tweet An integral part of our club has become redundant after 27 years. As such, I am offering compensation Embed a Tweet With full salary from our big green man as long as I will be an Arsenal player … pic.twitter.com/IfWN38x62z
– Mesut Ozil (@ MesutOzil1088) October 6, 2020
The club said the mascot will return once fans are allowed to return to football matches in the UK after the coronavirus-related safety measures are eased, although they have not made it clear if Quy will continue in the role.
Arsenal fans cheerfully responded to Ozil’s gesture, as several social media users thanked the German-born midfielder.
Mesut Ozil has made an offer to pay Gunnersaurus and bring back the spell of Arsenal Mesut is a special human being, Gunnersaurus is officially back and the kids will be very happy. Wow what can’t he love about this soccer club? pic.twitter.com/hUv4hzhA6w
– UpYourArsenal🔴⚪🔴⚪ ♥ ️ (@ UPYOURARSENAL04) October 6, 2020
GoFundMe’s “Save Gunnersaurus” page has already raised more than £ 10,000 (US $ 13,000).
A statement on the page read: “Gunnersaurus has been the mascot of the Arsenal Club for 27 years. It is the symbol of the club and we cannot let it go extinct.
“Played by lifelong fan Jerry Coy, it would be a terrible shame to lose it. My Mascot League is the only one we’ve always been on, so let’s keep our top scorers ever.”
No matter how it ended up, I have had the pleasure of such a high-end human being of my football club for nearly a decade. pic.twitter.com/xD4pvwZeDu
– Patrick Timmons (@ PatrickTimmons1) October 6, 2020
Ozil, 31, is under contract with Arsenal until 2021 and earns £ 350,000 ($ 454,300) per week.
Despite being one of the club’s highest-earning players, he hasn’t made any appearances for the team since March after losing with club manager, Mikel Arteta.
The FA Cup winner Arsenal announced in August that it plans to cut 55 jobs due to the damaging impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the club’s finances.
The Premier League club said its main sources of income were all affected, including broadcast revenue, match-day acquisitions and business activity.