Less than two months ago it was revealed that Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho earns more money than any other manager in world football.
The Portuguese coach, who is regarded by many as the best in the business, takes home a cool €17m a year - which made initial reports claiming he had generously taken a pay cut to re-join the Blues after leaving Real Madrid look rather silly indeed.
Mourinho failed to win a trophy in his final season with Real Madrid, but Roman Abramovich still took the decision to re-hire the coach he had dismissed six years earlier. The Blues’ faithful had been pining for the ex-Inter Milan and FC Porto boss throughout that period of time - and there was no way the club’s billionaire owner was about to let him replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, even if the Portuguese never entered the thinking - somewhat inexplicably - of those in charge at Old Trafford.
Mourinho was re-hired to win trophies. Plain and simple. The Portuguese coach was, and still is, known as world football’s trophy-winning machine - a coach who practically guarantees success wherever he goes.
But, with just weeks remaining of the 2013/14 campaign, Mourinho is in danger of ending the season without a single piece of silverware. For Abramovich, not exactly great value for money. Seventeen million euros a season should, at the absolute minimum, ensure one major trophy.
There’s a still a small chance that Chelsea will end the season as Premier League champions, but it’s looking pretty unlikely. Mourinho’s side, who have shot themselves in the foot on multiple occasions over recent months, are two points behind league-leaders Liverpool with two matches left to play - although it’s third-placed Manchester City who are the current favourites thanks to their game in hand.
Meanwhile, Chelsea crashed out of the Champions League semi-finals this week, beaten by an Atletico Madrid side who went into the last four as underdogs. Diego Simeone’s side beat Mourinho’s Real Madrid in last season’s Copa del Rey final - and the talented Argentine got one over on his opposite number once again at Stamford Bridge.
Has Mourinho lost his magic touch? Well, he has argued all season that his squad isn’t up to scratch. If that was the case, why then did he not resolve these issues last summer? Abramovich would have backed him in the transfer market, that’s for sure. Money isn’t exactly an issue for the Russian, even if Financial Fair Play is becoming an increasing concern for the west London outfit.
Instead, Mourinho took the downright bizarre decision to loan Romelu Lukaku - the club’s best striker - to Everton for the season, and then spent the rest of the campaign moaning that he didn’t have a good enough forward in his ranks.
The Portuguese then decided to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United in January. Had the Spain international been retained, Chelsea might have been champions at the end of this season.
Chelsea fans find it impossible to criticise Mourinho. However, when they finish the season empty-handed, deep down they will all know exactly who deserves to shoulder the largest portion of the blame.