POWER corrupts – an old saying definitely, that while it may not be attributable to Confucius, could easily be applied to Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan.

The Malaysian businessman is hardly the most liked person in the Welsh capital, even if his moneyed acumen and muscle rescued the Bluebirds from potential oblivion.

However, his reputation took a further battering this week with a series of stinging homilies, including an attack on former manager Malky Mackay, the man who led Cardiff to the financial Nirvana of the Premier League, but was soon jettisoned and replaced by one-time Manchester United predator Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as life at the top proved a struggle.

Tan trashed Mackay’s reputation, reasoning he had not done well with Watford and had been “lucky” during his tenure in south Wales. Ouch.

He also declared that there would be no reversal in the colours currently sported by the Premier League anchor club. Double ouch.

Remember, this was the owner who, when there was initial opposition to his proposal to swap the all-blue colours of the aptly-named Bluebirds to red, decided not to implement such a radical change.

Then at the start of the first season in the Premier League the switch was made. A first kit of all blue was traded for red. Predictably there was a hue and cry from Cardiff supporters.

It seems ironic too that part of the reasoning behind Tan’s tinkering with colours was because red is viewed in the Far East as a lucky colour. Where are Cardiff right this very moment? Lodged at the foot of the domestic top tier. So much for lucky. The red must obviously be to conceal crimson complexions.

The Cardiff chairman has railed that he has not been given a fair shake by the local, indeed national, press, his Tan rant extending towards a charge of veiled racism.

There might be something of that given the multi-phobic policies of certain red-tops, who have given credence to claims that perhaps England’s greenest and most prosperous football lands are too much under foreign ownership.

But if you are aware that you might be more likely to come under attack, then surely a softly-softly and markedly less aggressive approach would realise dividends.

But no, Tan has done a remarkably rapid job in alienating his club’s own fan-base to the point that even if they were to hang on to their long-cherished premier status he would not become a terrace favourite.

That would be quite a role reversal – a chairman getting football’s feted and fateful vote of confidence.

The flak Tan is attracting can hardly be welcome in the chairman’s household, so why would he remain on the attack.

It all harks back to that adage of the corruptibility of power.

Those who hold the reins, the purse-strings, the final say-so, the sporting passions of scores of thousands, can spend so long in control that what they believe is best goes.

There’s no middle ground, there’s no compromise – it’s either my way or the high way. It’s either follow or fall. It’s either like it or lump it.

It’s a bizarre fact of football that it attracts so many despots and tyrants. Maybe that’s why they have the financial clout to acquire clubs.

But there’s also the inalienable right of football fans to complain, carp and also demonstrate their own brand of fickleness.

When Tan took charge no doubt many Cardiff supporters will have hailed the fact that a money man had come in to save their club. A lot of those might well be of the same disposition.

But you can bet the majority will not harbour the same affection for a leader now acting as a dictator.

Money, and having oodles of it, does not make you right and like Liverpool found with their brace of American cowboys in George Gillett and Tom Hicks before they were bought out by current owners the Fenway Group, the fans’ ire can be a proper stinging.