Out-of-favour Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil wants to save Gunnersaurus from extinction.
Ozil expressed sadness today after discovering that Jerry Quy — the man who fills the Arsenal dinosaur mascot — was made redundant by the London club after 27 years.
"I'm offering to reimburse @Arsenal with the full salary of our big green guy as long as I will be an Arsenal player," Ozil wrote on social media, "so Jerry can continue his job that he loves so much."
Ozil, who used the hashtag that read out "Justice for Gunnersaurus," is one of Arsenal's top-earning players — on more than US$20 million a year.
But the German has not played since March, with Arsenal unable to offload him while trying to make cuts due to the financial impact of the pandemic.
The news sparked a wave of support from fans and celebrity supporters, with a 'Save Gunnersaurus' GoFundMe page being set up by George Allen.
"Gunnersaurus has been the Arsenal club mascot for 27 years. He's a club icon and we cannot let him become extinct," a statement on the page said.
"Played by lifelong fan Jerry Quy, it would be a terrible shame to lose him. The mascot league is the only one we've consistently been on top of, let's keep our all time top scorer on top.
"Let's raise some money to keep Gunnersaurus going. Please give generously!"
The football community took to social media to speak out in support of the mascot and life-long fan Quy.
"WHAT? This had better not be true. Is it @Arsenal ??!" tweeted Piers Morgan.
"You're going nowhere @Gunnersaurus. I refuse to let @Arsena sack you. Come on @m8arteta @Aubameyang7 - this is not what our club is about."
Gary Lineker said: "Shouldn't be necessary, but it might be a good move and an act of kindness for the @Arsenal players and manager to club together and sort out this absurdity."