Mesut Ozil has offered to pay the salary of the man inside Arsenal‘s Gunnersaurus outfit to save the ‘famous and loyal’ mascot from extinction.
But in a new twist, Ozil tweeted that he was happy to pay for Quy to continue in the role after celebrities including Holly Willoughby, Jack Whitehall and Piers Morgan joined the campaign to save Gunnersaurus.
Mesut Ozil has offered to pay the salary of the man inside the Gunnersaurus costume after Arsenal axed the furry mascot as part of cost-cutting measures
Ozil has offered to pay the salary of Jerry Quy for as long as he remains at the club
Ozil pictured shaking hands with Gunnersaurus ahead of a match at the Emirates Stadium
Arsenal’s loveable mascot Gunnersaurus has been sacked after 27 years of service at the club
Jerry Quy, who has played the role since 1993, has been let go as part of a cost-cutting process
Arsenal fan Piers Morgan responded to the news, tweeting: ‘Ozil finally puts a shift in’
Ozil, who earns £350,000-a-week, tweeted on Tuesday afternoon: ‘I was so sad that Jerry Quy aka our famous & loyal mascot @Gunnersaurus and integral part of out 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. #JusticeForGunnersaurus #M1Ö #YaGunnersYa.’
Celebrity Arsenal fan Piers Morgan responded to Ozil’s tweet in humorous fashion, saying: ‘BREAKING: Ozil finally puts a shift in.’
In response, an Arsenal spokesperson insisted: ‘Gunnersaurus is not extinct and will return to action when fans are allowed back at matches.’
Morgan had led the outcry against the decision, calling for Arsenal to reconsider and pleading with boss Mikel Arteta and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to intervene.
And he was joined by This Morning presenter Willoughby and comedian Whitehall in trying to stop the mascot becoming ‘extinct’.
Holly Willoughby has joined the celebrities rallying support for mascot Gunnersaurus
Comedian Jack Whitehall has also shown his support for the sacked Arsenal mascot online
Willoughby wrote on Instagram: ‘ Very very sad to hear the news that @officialgunnersaurus has been released by @arsenal. He was at my son Harry’s 1st birthday and he’s a hero in our house!
‘He’ll never be extinct in our eyes. Bring back Gunnersaurus!’
Whitehall meanwhile added: ‘The streets will never forget,’ with a picture of the mascot while former Arsenal forward Ian Wright said: Terrible news. Love you Jerry.
‘Surely Jerry comes back when the fans come back????,’ Wright added.
Good Morning Britain presenter Morgan also tweeted on Monday, saying ‘You’re going nowhere @Gunnersaurus. I refuse to let @Arsenal sack you. Come on @m8arteta @Aubameyang7 – this is not what our club is about. #savegunnersaurus,’ he tweeted along with a series of angry emojis.
Former Speaker of the House of Commons and fellow Gunners fan John Bercow also got behind the movement, appearing on a Good Morning Britain interview with a poster of the dinosaur mascot in the background.
Piers Morgan had led the outcry against the decision, calling for a reversal of the decision
Morgan has also been joined by former Arsenal striker Ian Wright in expressing his sadness
In the absence of fans because of the pandemic, Arsenal felt the Gunnersaurus role on matchday was no longer essential.
With the club feeling the pinch because of an absence of matchday revenue, the club announced they were making 55 redundancies back in August.
Yet at the same time, Ozil is being paid £350,000-a-week – the equivalent of £18million a year – and hasn’t played a single minute for Arsenal so far this season.
But criticism may soften if Arsenal take up the German’s offer to keep Gunnersaurus alive a little longer.
The Gunnersaurus suit has been at Quy’s home since lockdown which led to a series of photos
The mascot ‘worked from home’ like the rest of the nation during the Covid-19 lockdown
Quy was a much loved figure with Arsenal fans and the decision is not likely to be popular
The mascot watched the Gunners’ games from home with fans unable to attend matches
The mascot has been a huge part of the club’s journey including all of Arsene Wenger’s reign
Sevilla appeared to make a late deadline day swoop for the sacked mascot by tweeting a picture of Gunnersaurus in response to a post asking: ‘Which player would you like your club to sign today?’
After several hours of intense negotiations later and with little time to spare, Sevilla got their dinosaur – returning to Twitter to share a shot of Gunnersaurus dressed in a Sevilla shirt and cap.
But they were not the only foreign club to express their support, with Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon quoting the famous Toy Story line ‘You’ve got a friend in me @Gunnersaurus’, with the picture of their mascot and Gunnersaurus.
However, Sevilla saved the day, scoring the dinosaur a new mascot with just hours to spare