In a period where clubs have been “financially crippled” by the coronavirus pandemic, it would have been understandable if clubs were cutting costs and not spending so much, but from the numbers this effect appears to be a faux position, perhaps to reduce the cost of players from selling clubs.
Premier League clubs spent £1.218bn on transfer fees this summer, just £158m down from last year’s total of £1.218bn on transfers. One major talking point from the close of this transfer window is the sack of Arsenal’s long term serving mascot, Gunnersaurus, in a bid to “cut costs”.
When putting things into context, this is a club that signed Willian on a contract worth £200,000 a week, improving terms for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a reported £350,000 a week and activating Thomas Partey’s release clause of €50 million, who would be earning £250,000 a week, the optics of that decision are about as bad as it gets.
Jerry Quy has played the role of the dinosaur mascot since 1993, making it 27 years of service, attending home games at Highbury and the Emirates along with other club events, in the outfit. He even reportedly missed his brother’s wedding to attend a home game. But, with no fans attending matches due to Covid-19 restrictions, the club have decided to drop Gunnersaurus as his role is “no longer deemed necessary”. The club reportedly insist the mascot will return at some point.
It’s clear football is getting worse by the day, with clubs misplacing their priorities and failing to protect those who have spent large parts of their life serving the club. And this is a complete reflection of society we currently live in. We can only hope it isn’t too late before clubs realize the wrong decisions they make, and end up in a pit too deep to be brought out.
By Muyiwa aguda
see also: Aubameyang Signs New Deal With Arsenal