WHILE Europe may be a new experience for Sean Dyche and most of his squad, it is also a first for club staff as they look to get Burnley and Turf Moor ready for the Europa League.

From wooden seats, UEFA ground inspections and unexpected meetings with the chief executive of a club in Lithuania, the summer has been a whirlwind as the Clarets prepare for a first European campaign in 51 years.

It began with a visit from UEFA on the final day of the Premier League season and continues now in trying to fulfil the governing body’s requirements, preparing for the trip to Aberdeen for the first leg and getting Turf Moor ready to host European football on August 2.

“It’s been non-stop really since the end of last season. It’s a whole new ball game for the club in terms of what’s required,” said Burnley’s head of football operations Matt Williams.

“If we thought the Premier League rules and regulations were stringent on promotion from the Championship, this takes it to a whole new level.

“Getting our heads around what is required, particularly if we do progress from the qualifiers to the group stage, there’s a whole host of work to do.

“It started at the Bournemouth game on the last day of the season, we had a UEFA inspector who came across for the game, he wanted to see the operation from the control room, stewarding, how we get players in and out, the press, then he followed it up on the Monday with a site inspection where he went and looked at every single nook and cranny, every office, cupboard, toilets, car parking, fan zones, the away concourse.

“He then did a full report and from that report came some subsequent questions from UEFA, including the wooden seats in both the Bob Lord and Cricket Field stands.

“UEFA have a rule about wooden seats and backrests and things of that nature, so we had to compromise with UEFA on the use of the two stands, because we couldn’t have afforded to lose the two stands.

“That’s been resolved, we’ve reached a compromise with UEFA. We would need to make some changes if we get to the group stages, we may make one of the changes anyway, we’ll play that by ear.

“UEFA have been very understanding and easy to deal with.”

Clarets fans all over the world tuned in to the second qualifying round draw online two weeks ago, but it was Williams who was Burnley’s representative in Nyon.

“It was a completely different experience, both from the price of things in Switzerland and being in an environment where you’ve got 90 to 100 other clubs represented there from around Europe,” he said. “I had a bizarre situation where I had a guy from southern Ireland come to congratulate me on the season we’ve had and he was the chief executive of a club in Lithuania but works out of Cork.

“You go into the auditorium where it’s drawn and it’s like being back at university, you’ve got a fold out desk and you see the draw unfolding and the pots.

“You think Famagusta would be nice, then you realise Famagusta play behind closed doors so there would be no trip to Cyprus. Then the last two balls in the pot were Aberdeen or the one with a choice of three teams.

“It made me smile that we got Aberdeen, from an operational point of view it’s just an extension of doing a Premier League game.

“I get that the supporters would have preferred a trip to Andorra, San Marino or Kazakhstan, but for us to get our heads around what’s involved it’s good. The Aberdeen lads are well versed in what’s required and they’ve been great to work with.

“We’ve gone through the details, things we take for granted, where’s the nearest hotel, where’s the nearest hospital, how many seats can the away supporters have? They came back on my flight to Manchester then they came to Burnley straight away and did their hotel inspections.”

A delegation from Burnley have gone up to Aberdeen today to look at hotels for key staff, ticket collection points in the city centre, double check the team accommodation, find training facilities for the morning of the game and look at other issues.

Turf Moor will return to the European stage for the second leg at the start of August, but for now fans won’t notice much of a change around the ground.

“There’s a couple of tweaks, the shirt sponsor is slightly smaller in UEFA games. You can use a betting firm, it’s only in certain countries where if gambling is banned in certain territories, you can’t use it then,” added Williams.

“We can’t put any sleeve badges on in the qualifiers so there won’t be any UEFA badges unfortunately, there won’t be any sleeve sponsorship either.

“The significant changes are if we were to get to the group stage, where the media side, the entry routes, the Burnley team having to arrive on a coach, there’s certain things that have to be done in the group stages.

“UEFA came last week as a follow-up with two venue directors and a couple of other members of staff to really drill down.

“If you do get through it is a short window from the last qualifiers to the group stage. It’s a lot more involved then and if you were to progress outside the group it’s even more detailed still.

“If we get to the group stage we will lose blocks of seats to UEFA and the static advertising boards of UEFA are a lot bigger than our usual LED boards, so it will affect sightlines, but while we’re mindful of things like that we’re concentrating on making sure that the Aberdeen game runs as smoothly as possible.”

Burnley had a pre-season game with Hannover at Turf Moor abandoned last summer following trouble in the away end and that is something that UEFA are aware of.

“Because of what happened at Hannover it is on the radar (with UEFA),” explained Williams. “We’re one of a few clubs to ever have a pre-season friendly abandoned, so that is automatically on UEFA’s radar, even though it wasn’t a UEFA fixture.

“They’re aware of it and it might be a casual ‘what happened against Hannover?’, but they’re aware there was an incident.”

The summer might have been a busy one for Burnley staff, but it’s also been a great experience.

Williams added: “It’s been really, really interesting, and a real eye opener. I was warned by a couple of colleagues from other clubs that my eyes would be opened.

“You think you’ve seen everything after being involved in the game for 16 years and organising a number of play-off and cup finals , but you haven’t, they will come and drill down into everything.

“That’s exactly what they’ve done, they want certain rooms as their office, certain things are too far away.

“There’s only so much space here, so it’s utilising that to its full potential.

“They’re coming to look at the dressing rooms, but that’s a building site at the moment, so they’re walking around with hard hats and hi-vi jackets on trying to visualise a building site as an away dressing room.

“Luckily Doug (Metcalfe, Burnley’s stadium manager) has got some good drawings and artist impressions at what they’re going to look like so they’ve gone away quite happy, we just have to make sure they’re as happy on August 2.”