Mourinho has already hinted that he will be paid "a lot" of money if he brings the first championship to Chelsea in 50 years. Winning the Premier League title will earn him a pounds 1m bonus - double what his predecessor Claudio Ranieri would have received - with more than pounds 2m extra if he then wins the Champions' League. Again that is double the bonus that would have been paid to Ranieri. In all, the bonuses effectively add up to an extra year's salary for Mourinho, who will then be by far the highest- paid football manager in the world.
At the same time Abramovich has been paying Chelsea's players an extra pounds 4,000 for every Premiership game they win - and pounds 1,500 for a draw - on top of their lucrative salaries. Last season they won 24 matches and drew seven - which meant an extra pounds 106,500 per player. The Chelsea wage bill shows that there were 35 employees last season earning at least pounds 2m-a- year. Abramovich has also been handing over 50 per cent of all prize money from the Champions' League to the players. Last season that meant, having reached the semi-finals, that the squad shared pounds 3m - pounds 200,000 each if they were in every squad. If they win the competition this season the prize money for the players to share will be pounds 6m.
The players negotiated their deal when Abramovich bought Chelsea in the summer of 2003. The system of payments per game has been dismantled by Mourinho, who does not agree with appearance money and has rolled it into lump-sum bonuses to be paid to the squad at the end of the season depending on what they win.
Amazingly Mourinho, who has called his present contract "extra-terrestrial", will, probably, be granted a pay rise as well as a new deal - which will mean he challenges the England coach Sven Goran Eriksson as the highest- salaried manager in the country. Eriksson currently earns pounds 4.5m. Chelsea are unlikely to agree to the new eight-year deal Mourinho has declared he is seeking although the Portuguese will undoubtedly compromise on the length of contract. He is, however, deeply committed to Chelsea and also wants to have greater stability to raise his children.
Mourinho still wants to coach in Italy eventually and to take charge of the Portuguese national team. After this summer he has two years, and an option for a further one, left on his current contract. But he also realises that at 42 he has years left in the game even if he remains at Chelsea for a long time. He is also canny enough to know that any extension would leave him with an even greater pay-off if he were to be sacked.
Today Mourinho takes Chelsea to face fourth-placed Everton at Goodison Park in the lunchtime Premiership kick-off, attempting to extend their lead at the top of the table to 12 points after it had been reduced to nine by Manchester United, who do not play until tomorrow. However Mourinho also knows his side have not won on three of the four previous weekends following an international week.
His assistant Steve Clarke claimed yesterday that the reaction to last weekend's draw with Manchester City was over the top. He added of today's game against an Everton side which has two victories from seven games: "It's a good chance for us to put pressure on our immediate opponents. We had a late training session after the internationals returned yesterday and I'm pleased to say everyone's reported OK."
Mourinho's Everton counterpart David Moyes highlighted the massive financial difference between the two clubs. "He is is very fortunate because he has got such a great team," Moyes said. "He has tremendous backing and it makes it a lot easier when you can buy the best players."
Of those players, John Terry has passed a fitness test, Ricardo Carvalho's broken toe, which has ruled him out since December, has healed and Didier Drogba should recover from a thigh strain. However the absence of the winger Arjen Robben - who will be missing for up to two months with two broken bones in his foot suffered at Blackburn two weeks ago - is a major concern.
In the Dutchman's absence Joe Cole is likely to start while more responsibility will fall on Damien Duff, and the Irishman said yesterday that he was certain Mourinho would ensure there are no slip-ups. Duff added that the Premiership was undoubtedly the priority of the four trophies Chelsea are still chasing.
"We haven't won it in 50 years and it's our centenary year," he said. "It's our bread and butter really." There's also the incentive of all that jam to come from Abramovich as well.
Wholly Roman empire, pages 78-79
CHELSEA'S INCENTIVES BLUES' BONUS PLAN
l If Chelsea win the Premiership, Champions' League, FA Cup and Carling Cup, Jose Mourinho will receive pounds 4.2m - about an extra year's salary.
l If they just win the Premiership he receives pounds 1m.
l If they only win the Champions' League he receives "more than" pounds 2m.
l Players in squads for Champions' League games receive 50 per cent of all prize-money won. If they win the competition that equates to a pot of pounds 6m.
l The squad received bonuses of pounds 4,000 last season for every Premiership game won and pounds 1,500 for a draw.