Mesut Ozil’s refusal to accept wage cuts is a result of his superior social conscience
By Alfie Cairns Culshaw (Chief Editor)
As the news leaked last night that Mesut Ozil was one of three players that has refused to agree to the 12.5% pay cuts proposed by the club, the inevitable tabloid media backlash swept in, with many publications and media personalities feeling it was their place to heap abuse on the German, without considering the full story.
Yes, this doesn’t look great at the outset. The most handsomely payed player at the club, and by a considerable margin, refusing to accept a slight cut on their luxuriously large income to help support those less well off at the club doesn’t reflect well on that player. However, if you read beyond the headlines and the over the top rant from you know who, then you’ll see this is a far more complex situation than it appears at first glance.
The reports suggest that Ozil is looking for complete assurances that this money will go to the right places. Very reasonable, given the notoriously sketchy track record of our owner and given his current ventures elsewhere. The Number 10 is also understood to be ‘waiting to assess the full impact of Covid-19’ before making any major financial commitments. What exactly this means, and what exactly he’s waiting to observe remains to be seen, although it would seem that he’s not completely against taking pay cuts- it’s not as though he’s flat out refusing to co-operate.
Mesut Ozil is not an idiot. He’ll be fully aware of the PR disaster that would come out of not accepting this sort of cut to help out for the greater good. Any player would. My guess would be that he’s still waiting for these assurances, still negotiating with the club over the best possible plan before accepting such a big decision, but unfortunately someone decided they’d leak the news to the press before an agreement could be reached, painting Ozil out as the bad guy. I’d be extremely surprised if Mesut Ozil didn’t take some sort of financial hit in the next few weeks.
Some may say, ‘he’s on £350k a week, he should accept it in a heartbeat, just take the cut and move on, he can live without the extra 12.5%.’ Whilst yes, he can certainly get by on £306,000 per week, it really isn’t as simple as this. In fact, I’d actually go as far as saying the fact that he hasn’t yet accepted any cuts may be a direct result of his superior social conscience to other members of the squad. This might seem like a ridiculous take that makes no sense at first, but hear me out.
Ozil clearly has a social conscience. He’s not a purely evil human being who has no awareness of how lucky he is and how he can utilise his monetary power to help others. Yes, he may have befriended a fascist dictator and even gone as far as making him his best man at his wedding, but as far as his charitable track record goes, there aren’t many who out do him in modern football.
In 2014, Mesut Ozil donated the entirety of his World Cup winning earnings (estimated at £240,000) to Brazilian hospitals, so they could pay for 23 sick children to have life-changing surgery. In May 2016, Ozil visited the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, home to around 80,000 people displaced due to the Syrian Civil war, where he played with children, signed autographs and handed out football shirts.
In 2017, he invited a child cancer patient to his private box at the Emirates, and gave him access to the player’s lounge during the game. The child, Charlie, described this as a dream come true. In 2019, he and his wife paid for 1,000 children to have life-changing surgery as part of their wedding gesture. During this pandemic, he has already donated huge amounts of money to various food banks, which have allowed 16,000 people in need to be fed.
Ozil clearly is aware of other people’s struggles and how fortunate he is. He’s clearly willing to help out and is eager to aid other people’s lives and help relieve their struggles. This emphatic social conscience may be the reason he hasn’t yet agreed to this pay cut as of yet. It may be because he is trying to delegate where this money goes. He may be the one at the forefront of making sure it is used in exactly the right places, before he just hands it over to the club.
Of course, I could be very wrong and he may well be an evil twat who is extremely selfish and completely unaware of his social responsibility. However, given his historically generous actions, it seems quite unlikely doesn’t it?
Before people are so quick to jump to rash conclusions and make sweeping judgements about people, make sure you look more into the details and assess the situation properly. Thanks for reading, and please give Mesut Ozil a break.