It might just be coincidence, but the man who spends half of his time wearing the largest hat in English football spends the other half talking from out of it.
David Sullivan is many things — anti-establishment multimillionaire, Birmingham City co-owner, newspaper proprietor, professional bon viveur — but not a diplomat.
How else would one explain his latest attempt at fostering peace and friendship among his customers (a.k.a., "the fans") at St Andrew's?
Writing in the club's official programme for yesterday's match against Stoke, Sullivan used the "From the Boardroom" column to reproach those Birmingham supporters who do not regularly attend matches at St Andrew's.
"Take a look around today," Sullivan writes, "and I am sure you will notice the empty seats. Compare our attendances this season to Derby County, Sunderland or even Norwich City and you have to question whether Birmingham supporters really deserve promotion."
Excuse my ignorance, but I cannot quite see the correlation.
What is he saying? That those who cannot afford to go to St Andrew's, but love Birmingham City as much as he does, might not deserve promotion?
Is he saying that those Birmingham supporters who live too far from St Andrew's, or whose working commitments preclude them from attending home matches, might not deserve promotion?
Is he saying that those Birmingham fans who, because of physical disabilities, find that attending matches at St Andrew's in winter is too painful or uncomfortable might not deserve promotion?
I took a look around St Andrew's yesterday. I was there, sampling Mr Sullivan's hospitality from the press box. I noticed the empty seats around the stadium. I noticed the attendance of 15,854.
I found it disconcerting that a club of this size, in a city of this significance, can only half-fill its own stadium when it is playing a match that, in Mr Sulivan's words, was "important".
No doubt he is aware of why so few people turned up. If not, here are some of those reasons:
1). The date of the match had been changed, at a notice of just eight days, from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning.
2). The match was shown live on television. Indeed, Birmingham City sold the TV rights to the match and earned themselves #60,000 in the process.
3). The cost of admission was, in a lot of cases, #29. Not cheap.
4). The weather was not conducive to a morning of comfortable entertainment.
5). Stoke City are not the most aesthetically pleasing of teams to watch.
6). The sale of Matthew Upson to West Ham last month alienated some supporters who had previously believed that Blues were trying to strengthen their squad for a promotion challenge, rather than weaken it.
7). Birmingham's results since the turn of the year — Newcastle away in the FA Cup notwithstanding — have been indifferent.
8). St Andrew's is no longer a bastion of harmony.
I respect Sullivan's right to express an opinion. I have, in the past, agreed with many of his sentiments about a whole range of subjects. I also respect any man who has earned wealth beyond the wildest dreams of mere mortals such as myself.
In some respects, Sullivan is a genius but success in business does not equate to success in diplomacy.
This is a time when everybody with a feeling for the future of Birmingham City should pull together.
Steve Bruce, the manager, has become disillusioned. The supporters are frustrated. The players have noticed the tension around the place. Even Sullivan's hat looks nervous.
So much for the perception that the gypsy's curse at St Andrew's had been lifted with the Championship win over Queens Park Rangers on December 26.
Nothing seems to have gone right in the six weeks since. But as a businessman, Sullivan knows better than anyone the value of keeping customers onside.
The truth is that, if Birmingham City are promoted to the Premiership in May, everybody concerned with the club will deserve it, up to and including those supporters who cannot go or who choose not to go.
If the club do not gain promotion, they will not deserve it. And, by extension, nor will the fans.
A person's presence or otherwise has nothing to do with it.
* Do you agree with Hyder? Maybe you agree with David Sullivan. Tell us your opinion on the latest row at St Andrew's at the messageboard.