By now, it is well established that the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent banning of fans from football stadiums has hit clubs hard. Many have had to make redundancies as a result, with Arsenal being one of these clubs, letting 55 staff members go in August as part of wider cost-cutting measures.
However, their recent actions have surprised many, releasing someone who fans had considered surely exempt from this financial fallout.
Their iconic mascot. Gunnersaurus.
Jerry Quy, the man who donned the green dinosaur suit at Arsenal home games ever since 1993, was sacked.
This is a man that legends of the club have grown up with and long-time supporters have come to adore. Allegedly, Quy’s loyalty to Arsenal was such that he skipped his own brother’s wedding to attend a home fixture.
Mesut Özil, who himself is also currently being ostracised by the club, has offered to pay Quy’s salary from his £350,000 a week wages, whilst he remains an Arsenal player.
This is a shocking development for a team who has handed out large sums of money in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s contract renewal and the signing of Willian, to name just 2 examples.
Such is it that Arsenal has become the butt of many jokes on social media, including Sevilla, who tweeted that they had made a late deadline day swoop for Gunnersaurus.
Whilst many believe that the loved mascot will return once fans do, this is certainly a low point for a club long considered to be one of the biggest teams in English football.