The last remaining “Invincible” is gone at Arsenal and the football world is up in arms.
Arsenal’s dinosaur mascot Gunnersaurus was fired by the Premier League team in a cost-cutting move that has left the club's supporters fuming - and for good reason.
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Gunnersaurus, played since he was introduced in 1993 by Jerry Quy, was also the last member of Arsenal’s squad that won the league by going undefeated in the 2003-04 season.
The London club is owned by American billionaire Stan Kroenke, who is notorious for his thrifty spending at the Premier League giants.
However, Gunnersaurus' extinction came at the same time the club was splashing the cash in the transfer market.
The mascot's sad exit came despite the Gunners securing the biggest deal on transfer deadline day by outlaying 45 million pounds ($A81 million) for Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.
The Gunners tweeted “Welcome to the Partey!” shortly after Atletico confirmed they had met the valuation for the Ghana international.
The irony of letting go of the club's beloved mascot for cost-cutting purposes and then forking out big bucks to sign a player left fans outraged, with many calling the move a “disgrace”.
So Arsenal fire Gunnersaurus, a club legend who earns around 1k a week because of financial issues then buy Thomas Partey for €50m...Absolute disgrace— Tien (@antoniosawma03) October 5, 2020
Arsenal are only signing Partey to distract from the disgrace that is sacking Gunnersaurushttps://t.co/pfwaYX1Ckv— Toby Moses (@tobymoses) October 5, 2020
They immediately pay the money after letting go Gunnersaurus. I'm sad for Gunnersaurus but for Partey I'm sure his sacrifice would never be forgotten😢— buqharikori (@buqharikori) October 5, 2020
Arsenal at 11am: Announce Gunnersaurus leaving the club as a cost cutting measure— Sport Social (@TheSportSocial) October 5, 2020
Arsenal at 11pm: Announce Thomas Partey signing for £52.5m on a £260k a week contract
Something not quite right there lads. #AFC pic.twitter.com/yj047B7LLS
Mascot move continues cuts at Arsenal
Arsenal’s players agreed to take a pay cut in June, but the club’s brass still laid off almost 60 other staffers in August.
In addition to his mascot gig, Quy apparently also lost his other role as a fan liaison — a job that won’t come back even when health officials declare the Emirates safe for supporters to return to the ground, according to multiple local reports.
Club legend Ian Wright, the club’s second all-time leading scorer after Thierry Henry, tweeted a pair pictures of himself with Gunnersaurus along with a caption: “Terrible news. Love you Jerry.”
Gary Lineker, a former star striker with Arsenal’s North London blood rival Tottenham Hotspur, called the move “sad.”
As it turns out, Gunnersaurus’ departure might not be permanent.
Multiple outlets stated that Quy could potentially don his furry green outfit again whenever fans are allowed back into Premier League matches.
“Hope so,” Wright wrote in a subsequent tweet.
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