Nearly two years ago, following the Covid pandemic and subsequent dramatic loss of revenue, Arsenal asked their players to take a pay cut of 15% to help balance the books.
At the time Ozil declined and he was widely ridiculed by fans for his lack of cooperation.
However, speaking to Arsenal Fan TV, Ozil’s agent backed up his client, stating that Ozil merely wanted assurances that the money would be used to protect jobs within the club.
‘With the salary cut, he asked me ‘Where is the money going?’. ‘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. 30%. 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 also claimed that Ozil was wrongly viewed as being greedy and referred to the 33-year-old’s difficult upbringing in Germany as forming a huge part of his character.
‘From the first moment I worked with Mesut, whenever I asked for a charitable project, he never said no,’ said Sogut.
‘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.’
Following Ozil’s refusal to take a pay cut, he fell out of favour under Mikel Arteta and joined Fenerbahce in January last year.
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Source: Metro Sport