Mesut Ozil’s agent has explained why the player refused to take a pay cut at Arsenal amid the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Germany international had a lot of success at Arsenal as he helped them win the FA Cup three times.
His relationship with the club turned sour in the end, though. Mikel Arteta left him out of their squads ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.
Ozil finally left Arsenal in January 2021 as his contract was terminated. This enabled him to join Fenerbache for free.
Last week it was revealed that Ozil had been ‘banished’ from the Turkish club.
Back in April 2020, it was announced that Arsenal’s players and staff were taking a 12.5% pay cut to help the club cope with the effects of Covid-19.
Ozil was one who refused to take this pay cut. His agent – Erkut Sogut – has stated that his player wanted to know where the money would be going:
“With the salary cut, he asked me ‘Where is the money going?’,” Sogut told Arsenal Fan TV.
“Mesut wanted assurances from the club that they wouldn’t fire anyone. That management would have a salary cut too.
“If that assurance was given and signed, he would have taken more of a cut. Thirty per cent. He wanted to know where the money was going.
“If it was to buy another player, he didn’t want to do it. If it was to secure the workplace, he wanted to do it.”
Sogut went onto suggest that Ozil “has the mentality of sharing”:
“From the first moment I worked with Mesut, whenever I asked for a charitable project, he never said no,” he added.
“He grew up in a very poor background, with his mum and dad going to work doing cleaning. He wasn’t from a good financial background. Football was the exit from that.
“His mum brought something to his house in London. It says ‘My son, you are gifted by God. If you don’t share this with people in need, you are not my son.’
“So this boy has the mentality of sharing. We used our box at the Emirates for kids with cancer. Every home game. He started a relationship with these kids. He was always giving.”