David Parkin ponders football predictions, Daisy Duke’s style and a Glass half full

YOU know it’s been a quiet week when the highlight is being followed on Instagram by a woman in her underwear in her profile picture.

Actually, it’s not been that quiet, but that particular episode did add a rare frisson of excitement during a working week where everyone else appears to be on holiday.

When British summertime does eventually arrive (it hitched up its underskirt to reveal a rather shapely ankle a couple of weeks ago when we had two sunny days in succession), I’ll have a ball, but the weather forecast isn’t promising much for the foreseeable future.

So my Daisy Duke-style denim shorts are staying the drawer for now.

With the football season starting later today when Fulham play Newcastle, thoughts turn from the waning summer to autumn.

Talking of football, one of the few lawyers in Yorkshire not currently on holiday, accosted me this week in Patisserie Valerie in Leeds.

Speaking conspiratorially out of the side of his mouth, I thought he was going to reveal an impending takeover deal.

“It’s the biggest thing I’ve seen since the EU Referendum result,” he confided.

“What is?”

“Ian Holloway’s Championship predictions for Sky Sports,” he said. “There’s not many fans happy with what he’s said about their teams in his pre-season preview.”

I had seen that former player and manager turned pundit Holloway had elicited a bitter response from the new Chinese owner of Aston Villa by predicting the team which was relegated from the Premier League last season could “do a Leeds” and get relegated to League One.

“They’re lucky I’ve put them this high,”Holloway said when predicting Villa would finish 16th at the end of the upcoming season.

“They could easily get relegated again, with the lack of investment and the lack of unity within the playing squad.”

Dr Tony Xia, who completed his takeover of Aston Villa in June this year, reacted furiously on Twitter when Holloway’s scathing preview was brought to his attention by a Villa fan.

The Aston Villa owner replied to a tweet containing a link to Holloway’s column writing: “A failed player, failed manager and now f***** pundit. Don’t bother reading at all!”

Xia later deleted the tweet, but not before it was shared over 1,000 times on social media.

Holloway was even more scathing about Huddersfield Town, predicting the club will finish second bottom of the table and get relegated.

All the Huddersfield fans I know are really looking forward to the season with a sense of excitement they haven’t had since Frank Worthington was banging them in both on and off the pitch.

But Holloway stated: “I haven’t seen much progression from the club during the back end of last season.

“David Wagner is pretty inexperienced and if results turn, then they may struggle to turn things around.”

When I bumped into a Huddersfield fan this week I pointed out that Ian Holloway had said they hadn’t made much progression.

“Progression? Progression?” he proclaimed, hands on hips and looking to the heavens, like a latter-day Mr Rigsby.

“We’ve brought 12 players in this summer, what’s that if not progression? Holloway’s talking out of his West Country a***,” he said before stomping off up the road in anger.

At this stage of the season, predictions aren’t worth much. We need to give it time to see what happens. So let’s wait until the clocks go back, or Leeds have sacked two managers, whichever comes first.

IT was nice to see my old colleague from TheBusinessDesk.com, Colin Glass, recognised for his contribution to business in Yorkshire.

Veteran accountant and business adviser Colin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration by Leeds Beckett University for his “significant contribution to industry and commerce”.

I almost rang him up to congratulate him but I thought if I did, I might put my foot in it and mention I received an honorary MBA from the same institution three years ago.

That might not have gone down well.

I remember after we launched online business news service TheBusinessDesk.com, where Colin was our non-executive finance director,  I managed to get us featured on page three of the Financial Times in an article about the changing face of the regional media.

It covered the launch of our new Birmingham office and how new lean journalistic models contrasted against struggling local newspapers.

‘Three Brummies in a broom cupboard lead fightback by local journalists’ read the headline.

Someone asked me at the time if I was offended by it. Not a bit of it, it summed up the reality that some in the regional media still haven’t grasped.

On seeing the article, Colin asked: “How did you manage that? I’ve been trying to get into the FT for 30 years!”

By the way, I was in a quandary about whether to use a photograph of Colin Glass or Daisy Duke to accompany this blog.

So I tossed for it.

Anyway, I’m off to change my Instagram profile photo to one in my denim shorts.

Have a great weekend.

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