Fenerbahce asked fans to fund Mesut Ozil‘s wages by sending a goodwill message via an SMS service which will cost the fans about £2 each.
The 32-year-old German midfielder completed his free transfer to the Turkish club during the weekend and he is expected to remain at Fenerbahce until June 2024 when his 3-and-a-half year contract with the club is expected to expire.
However, the chairman of Fenerbahce, Ali Koc, wants the fans of the club to assist the club in raising funds for Mesut Ozil‘s wages. According to reports, the financial assistance from the fans started rolling in immediately after the player’s transfer deal was confirmed during the weekend.
Fenerbahce decided to embark on the SMS campaign because the club is said to be in debt worth about £460million. Due to the financial crisis, Ali Koc announced that it would be difficult for the Turkish club to sustain Mesut Ozil‘s salary without the support of the fans.
“We have a request for our fans. Please continue to support us, we are also dependent on your financial support”, Koc announced.
“On the day of the signature, I will ask you to break a record. With an SMS campaign.
“Maybe 300,000, 500,000, or maybe even a million text messages come together. This support will do us very well.”
Since the announcement was made, fans of the club have been sending text messages to the number 1907 which signifies the year Fenerbahce was established. Each text message sent to the number under the ‘Mesutol campaign’ cost around £2.
Though Mesut Ozil earned £350,000-per-week at Arsenal which amounted to about £18million-per-year, he was able to seal his move to Fenerbahce after accepting a drastic pay-cut. He is expected to earn as small as £67,300-a-week or £3.5m-a-year throughout his over three years stay at Fenerbahce.
However, Ozil’s earning could be more than the reported wages in the coming days if he can attract endorsement deals to himself at the Turkish side.
As for the ‘Mesutol campaign’, over 160,000 messages have been sent out as of Sunday afternoon, January 24. As of then, Fenerbahce have earned over £300,000 via the campaign which is expected to continue until Tuesday or Wednesday when Mesut Ozil will be unveiled at the club.
Mesut Ozil Tells Arsenal Goodbye after sealing his free transfer to Fenerbahce
Before the former Germany international left Arsenal, Mesut Ozil scored 44 goals and provided 77 assists in 254 appearances in all competitions. After he sealed his free transfer move to Fenerbahce, he took to social media to say goodbye to Arsenal.
“The support I have felt from the team and fans during my time here has been truly incredible and something I will always be grateful for,” Ozil wrote on the club’s official website.
“Together we won trophies for the first time in years and created memories that will last a lifetime. The Arsenal fans will forever remain in my heart.
“I’d like to thank Edu Gaspar for helping bring about a professional and dignified solution in the past few days, and I wish everyone at the club the best in their attempt to continue to bring Arsenal back to the top, where we belong.”
On Instagram, Mesut Ozil declared himself a Gunner for life, declaring North London where Arsenal football club is located as a place he would always call home.
“I will always be grateful for the trust placed in me by Arsene Wenger in September 2013. I’ve grown up as an adult in North London, a place I’ll always call home. I’ll never forget that.
“It’s difficult for me to put into words the love I feel for this club and the fans. How could I possibly describe eight years of gratitude in a single letter? I will be a Gunner for life – no doubt about that.”