Monday was transfer deadline day across Europe and Arsenal delivered one of the day's most shocking moves by sacking its beloved mascot Gunnersaurus.
Arsenal fired several team employees, including Jerry Quy, the man who has played Gunnersaurus since he was first introduced in 1993, as part of its cost-cutting measures. Quy also lost his other job with the club as a supporter liaison.
Fans were distraught over Quy's departure, especially as the Gunners acquired Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey for nearly $60 million on the same day.
Following the sad news, Mesut Özil came to Gunnersaurus's rescue and offered to pay the full salary of the club's mascot.
"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," Ozil 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...so Jerry can continue his job that he loves so much."
According to ESPN, Quy will not return as a supporter liaison once fans return to games. However, a team spokesperson confirmed to ESPN's James Olley that "Gunnersaurus is not extinct and will return to action when fans are allowed back at matches."
Arsenal relies heavily on matchday income at Emirates Stadium under its self-sustainable business model. The London club has struggled financially without fans allowed at the stadium, despite being owned by American billionaire Stan Kroenke.