I was amused when Drinking During the Game referred to Blackburn Rovers owners Venky's as 'the Bernard Matthews of India'. In fact, Venky's are a wide-ranging conglomerate, but chickens remain at the heart of their business. That makes a lot of sense, as one of the first things that happens when a developing country becomes more prosperous is that the population starts to buy chicken meat.
Nevertheless, skills acquired in producing chickens do not translate readily to football. I was struck yesterday by 'Chevvy' Singh's remarks about departmentalism on Radio 5. Venky's 'global adviser' said that everyone at Blackburn had their department and if they did their jobs, all would be well.
I can see how this works in chicken production. One department breeds the chicken, another department raises them, a third one slaughters them, then they are prepared for the consumer and marketed. By analogy, the manager of a football club looks after the players like a mother hen during the week and then dresses up in a cockrel suit on Saturday and chases them on to the pitch.
The problem is that a football club is more than the sum of well functioning parts. A spirit and a belief has to infuse the club as a whole. Chris Powell has been able to produce such a spirit through inspirational leadership. Whenever I have seen Steve Kean he doesn't look all that inspirational to me, a damp rag is what comes to mind. Indeed, I am not sure that I would buy a frozen chicken off him.