As he prepares to enter the week that will define his year, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich could be forgiven for thinking that being rich wasn't supposed to be this difficult.
For all his billions, business interests and political aspirations, Abramovich's state of contentment hinges right now on the events of Tuesday night at Old Trafford, where his club will try to escape a quarterfinal Champions League exit against Manchester United.
It is that tournament that he craves more than any other, the one he has coveted since buying Chelsea eight years ago, and the one which has escaped him – sometimes by merely the width of a goalpost – on every occasion.
If this is indeed the year, it will need to be done the hard way, after United won the first leg 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, making the Red Devils strong favorites heading into the second leg on home soil. But even though this year's campaign got a whole lot harder last week, Abramovich may see it as his best chance to capture the trophy – because it could start getting a whole lot more difficult for Chelsea.
European soccer has been awash with money for a long time, a battle of the bank accounts and a collective muscle-flexing of incredibly wealthy men. Abramovich's fiscal biceps were bulkier than most, the primary reason why he was able to turn Chelsea into a European heavyweight so quickly.
However, moves are afoot to curtail the impact of the dollar, pound, euro or ruble, and clubs like Chelsea are in the crosshairs. UEFA president Michel Platini has made this his personal crusade to curb what he sees as irresponsible spending and has taken decisive action.
A series of financial fair-play rules are due to be implemented, limiting the amount of debt that can be carried and offering restrictions on the percentage of turnover that should be spent on player salaries.
The latter point is of most concern to Chelsea. Coach Carlo Ancelotti's squad is stuffed with superstars, all of whom are handsomely rewarded. Leading players like Frank Lampard and John Terry are not going to take a pay cut anytime soon, and their huge wages have set a high benchmark for future negotiations.
Furthermore, Chelsea's spending power is no secret around Europe and any self-respecting agent is going to drive a hard bargain if his player appears on the club's radar. Figures this week showed Chelsea's wage bill constitutes 82 percent of its turnover, way above the UEFA guideline of 70 percent.
With Fernando Torres and David Luiz having arrived in January, the burden is likely to be even greater, and UEFA's inspectors will be casting a close eye when official accounting begins with the current financial year.
Abramovich has pumped around $1.6 billion into Chelsea, much of it in the form of interest-free loans and will surely be loathe to tone down his investment until the ultimate prize is won. With punishments for failure to adhere to financial fair-play rules still to be finalized, he may be prepared to play chicken with the authorities, for a while at least.
One way in which Chelsea can help its own plight is with success, starting this week. If Chelsea can find a way to overturn the one-goal deficit and get past United, then millions of extra prize money and television revenues will follow, helping the overall balance compared to turnover.
Both teams recorded routine victories on Saturday, Chelsea beating Wigan 1-0 and United brushing past Fulham 2-0. All eyes and thoughts though, now turn to a midweek clash that could have long-reaching repercussions.