The Fan Engagement Pod


Not just a wee success: Gerard Lawlor, NI Football League

Season 1, Ep. 74

This episode is a chat with Gerard Lawlor, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Football League.

Gerard has been CEO since 2021. Professionally, he was in the hospitality industry as a chef for years, but crucially, always a fan and latterly director and chairman of Cliftonville FC. 

He has clear understanding of the needs of his member clubs both as institutions but also as businesses that need to satisfy fans both as customer and stakeholder, whilst building new loyalties amongst non-traditional fans, particularly women and girls.  

I just sat back and listened for large parts of this interview. He had so much interesting stuff to say about a league that is clearly undergoing a renaissance, and clubs that are finding themselves more popular than they’ve been for a long time.

You can hear how their success was supercharged by Covid, and how their strength really is that they’re close to their fans. 

I really enjoyed chatting with Gerard, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy listening to it too. 


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More Episodes

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Changing Fan Behaviour: Time for a rethink

Season 1, Ep. 73
This episode discusses policing, at risk fans. We look at how to change the approach of dealing with anti-social behaviour and problem fans from one of removal and banning, to education and helping them to become better citizens. GuestsOwen West, former Chief Superintendent at West Yorkshire Police and now Senior Lecturer in Policing at Edge Hill University: Amanda Jacks, Caseworker at The Football Supporters Association: Kristine Green, Director of Grimsby Town, as well as something of an expert in communications between police and fans, and the club’s Supporter Liaison Officer: Sidney Wise, Writer and Researcher, Think Fan Engagement:   Links‘Cleveland Police slammed over Hartlepool United v Stockport County match dogs tweet: Roberts' cocaine remarks: Liam Scully, CEO at Lincoln City, condemning Roberts' remarks: The Anfield Wrap Podcast - special (with Amanda Jacks from The FSA) Standard Liege intervention programme’s fanprojekt programme: sanctions guidelines for clubs: Apologies for the poor sound quality in places. Keep an eye out on and find our socials on Please like, subscribe and share. It really does help our visibility.