It is the video on YouTube, going back to Vincent Tan's 60th birthday last year, which really fuels the sense that part of the problem is that he will always be surrounded by people telling him how great he is.
It lasts almost five minutes, a "dedication to our founder", as staff from his Malaysian business empire dance and serenade their boss with some of the cheesiest lyrics imaginable. "We love him, love him, where Tan Sri goes we follow, we follow" will give you a flavour, as well as the adaptation of the old Frankie Valli number. "We love you Tan Sri and if it's quite all right, adore you Tan Sri, every day and night", and "we are all here to pray you are forever healthy Tan Sri, happy forever".
This, plainly, is what can happen when a man is worth £1.3bn. Tan will never be short of someone to sprinkle rose-petals into his bath water. On Planet Tan there will always be people holding open the door and telling him how dapper he looks in that black blazer and red football-shirt combo.
Back in the real world, nobody appears to have pointed out to Tan there has not been a football club owner yet who turned out to be an accomplished manager and talent-spotter all rolled into one. Or that the entire industry is rubbernecking in Cardiff's direction right now and wondering where it will all end up and what it potentially means for Malky Mackay, a decent man showing commendable restraint. The end, very possibly, if Tan continues to undermine the team's manager.
Cardiff's fans are still waiting for a credible explanation for the decision to torpedo Iain Moody, Mackay's director of recruitment. They will probably never get one, and the lingering sense of dissatisfaction is not particularly soothed by the fact that Alisher Apsalyamov, the 23-year-old Kazakh who was supposed to replace him, has now been paid a visit by the Home Office and warned off on visa issues.
At the same time, other details have started to filter out, as they always do when clubs start to unravel internally, about Tan's apparent habit during games of trying to pass on instructions to Mackay, specifically about tactics and substitutions, from his place in the padded seats.
The revelation that Tan went above his manager's head to sign Etien Velikonja, a Slovenian forward, is even more alarming, especially when the player has managed a grand total of 73 minutes of league football in the 15 months since arriving, for £1.7m, from NK Maribor.
Velikonja's one full match was the FA Cup third-round tie in January against Macclesfield, then 11th in the Conference. Cardiff lost in what was widely considered their worst performance last season and, looking at the various match reports, it tells its own story that he barely warrants a single mention anywhere. The South Wales Echo does, however, note that he "failed to impress" and "did nothing to put pressure on those above him in the pecking order". Mackay tried him against Hull City on the final day of last season, substituted him at half-time, and the same newspaper awarded the striker five out of 10, the lowest mark in the team. Nobody can be surprised he has dropped completely off the radar since.
The problem for Mackay is that once the trust has broken down between owner and manager, it is always extremely difficult to get it back. He has been on the phone to Sir Alex Ferguson for advice during the past few weeks. He has also spoken to the League Managers Association, and perhaps it is time that organisation tries to make it mandatory that managers have it written into their contracts they have full control over the team and must be consulted in transfer business. But it is a difficult area to police when there is a culture among certain members of football's rich-list that they can operate by their own rules.
Flavio Briatore famously left 72 missed calls on Gareth Ainsworth's phone during half-time of one match when he was calling the shots at QPR. He ordered a substitution by telephone from Malaysia when Paulo Sousa was manager and, as Neil Warnock pointed out in his recent book, The Gaffer, they simply don't teach you that kind of stuff when you enrol for the LMA course at Warwick University. "Any sign of weakness and he would have crushed me," Warnock concludes of the interference that accompanied his time at Loftus Road.
There are countless other examples, too. Vladimir Romanov's tainted reputation from his time at Hearts included a habit of faxing, from Lithuania, the team he wanted his various managers to put out. BlackburnRovers have been operating by their own theory of chaos for longer than their supporters will care to remember, albeit a little more quietly than usual recently, and someone really ought to write a book about the time a washed-up American footballer by the name of Terry Smith bought Chester, then appointed himself as manager when Kevin Ratcliffe decided, four games in, he wanted nothing more to do with him.
Smith's background was with the New England Patriots and his knowledge of his new sport could probably be encapsulated in a little test, set up by the Sunday Mirror, in which he was asked to name how many caps Bobby Charlton had won for Scotland – and replied 63. He went on to say he had thought there was a limit on the number of corners and throw‑ins in every game and that goal-kicks could be taken from only one side. He took his players to McDonald's for one pre-match meal, read the Lord's Prayer during team talks and appointed separate captains for defence, midfield and attack. Perhaps not surprisingly, Chester were relegated.
In that context, Tan is far from the worst offender if we were putting together a league table of boardroom buffoonery. Nobody should doubt his ambitions and, however high-maintenance he might be, there will be many supporters at other clubs who would gladly tolerate his faults given he has pumped £125m into the club.
It is just a pity, when this really ought to be a good news story, that he somehow appears to have deceived himself into thinking that a place on the Forbes list should automatically qualify him for his coaching badges, and that managing the club can mean managing the team.
It it is never a good thing when the lines blur. It ends badly, almost always. If that does happen, there will not be anyone in Cardiff singing along with "You're just too good to be true".
Secrets and lies in Ferguson's United kingdom
Sir Alex Ferguson has come out with some interesting little snippets during his promotional book tour, even if there have been times when it has been tempting to wonder about the pattern a needle might take were he strapped to a polygraph.
That was certainly some statement about having no more than half a dozen fall-outs with players – "amazing, that" – in almost 27 years at Manchester United. But nobody heckled and, after all that chopping down of assorted targets in his autobiography (various United figures have let it be known over the past few days, incidentally, that the allegation Owen Hargreaves did not try hard enough is, to quote, "absolute bollocks"), there were plenty of colourful anecdotes that would have enhanced the book.
The time, for example, Ferguson met Nelson Mandela in South Africa and the terrible awkwardness when his kit-man Albert Morgan's mobile went off. Not least because it was to the tune of the theme of The Great Escape.
Ferguson recounted how, among the usual crowds wherever Mandela goes, his press assistant had to move a young boy out of the way so they could take some photographs. The boy, Ferguson recalled, did not go too far.
"Afterwards, he says: 'I was waiting for my Granddad.'"
The most revealing story came when Ferguson was pressed on the announcement of his retirement and the full-scale operation over the previous six months to keep it a secret.
Bryan Robson, he said, had called him the night before to say there were rumours flying around he was about to quit. "I had to lie to him, of course," Ferguson said. "I wanted the players to know before anyone."
That was the same night he told his brother, Martin, and by his own admission it was a strained conversation. Martin, one of United's leading scouts, wanted to know why he had been kept out of the loop. "I said: 'Martin, I couldn't tell you …' 'Oh aye,' he said. 'You can't trust me then?' He was fine in the end. He understood. But it was difficult."
All of which jars somewhat with José Mourinho's version of events. Mourinho says he, too, was let in on the secret last season when he was managing Real Madrid. Ferguson's account is that the only people he told were his wife, his three sons and David Gill, then United's chief executive. "A secret is a secret only if you know it. If someone else knows it, that's not a secret."
Someone is telling the truth and someone is telling porkies. You can decide. But it would be fun to get them in the same room and find out for certain.
CSKA's excuses just bring more shame
Perhaps it was expecting too much to think CSKA Moscow might show any contrition after being punished for the racist abuse their dunderhead supporters inflicted upon Yaya Touré.
Sure enough, the club's insistence that the whole thing was a figment of Touré's imagination continued after Uefa's disciplinary hearing, including one director, Roman Babaev, trying to pin Manchester City's complaint on England's failure to win the race to host the 2018 World Cup. "The English just can't accept they lost to our country in a fair fight," he said. Which would sound pretty tenuous at the best of times, but particularly when City are run from Abu Dhabi, have a Catalan chief executive and Touré plays for Ivory Coast.
Their sour reaction from Moscow reminds me of when Touré and Mario Balotelli suffered more monkey chants during City's visit to Porto in the Europa League. Porto were similarly outraged, insisting their supporters had actually been showing their appreciation of Sergio 'Kun' Agüero (ie "Kun, Kun, Kun"), never mind the fact he was not even in the team. For good measure, they threatened to report City after the return game for the "unsporting behaviour" of their crowd towards Hulk. Their complaint? City's fans had sung "You're not incredible".
At least Uefa, with their history of wishy-washy punishments, isare showing signs of being willing to impose the kind of sanctions that might make a difference. But it would help if the offending clubs could realise the wild conspiracy theories and wafer-thin excuses just bring more shame on them.