|Number of teams||20|
|Level on pyramid||2|
|Relegation to||Tweede Divisie (reserve teams)|
|Current champions|| SC Cambuur (3rd title) |
|Most championships||FC Volendam (6 titles)|
|TV partners|| ESPN |
(Matches of highly ranked clubs) & Veronica TV
(Summary and highlights of all played matches)
|Current: 2020–21 Eerste Divisie|
The Eerste Divisie (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈeːrstə diˈvizi] , English: First Division) is the second-highest tier of football in the Netherlands. It is linked with the top-level Eredivisie and with the third-level Tweede Divisie via promotion/relegation systems. It is also known as the Keuken Kampioen Divisie due to sponsorship, while previously it was known as Jupiler League for the same reason.
The Eerste Divisie consists of 20 clubs, who play each other in a double round-robin league, with each club playing the other club home and away. Each club plays every other club once in the first half of the season before the league takes a winter break around the Christmas and New Year's holiday season. The second half of the season sees the same fixtures as the first half, with the stadiums changed, although the two halves are not played in the same order.
At the end of each season, the champion and the runner-up of the Eerste Divisie are automatically promoted to the Eredivisie. Seven other clubs enter the Nacompetitie [ˈnaːkɔmpəˌti(t)si] , a promotion/relegation playoff that includes the 16th-placed club in the Eredivisie. The following teams qualify for the Nacompetitie:
If the club that wins a period has qualified for the Nacompetitie by winning a previous period, its place is filled by the next-best club in that period that has not already qualified. Usually, the clubs that qualify for the Nacompetitie turn out to be the 3rd- through 9th-placed clubs in the final table. Clubs in the Nacompetitie face each other in a knock-out system with the number 16 of the Eredivisie for one place in next season's Eredivisie.
Between seasons 1971–72 and 2007–09 teams could not relegate from the Eerste Divisie. From the 2009–10 season onwards, one team has been relegated from the Eerste Divisie to the Hoofdklasse (then the main amateur league of Dutch football). From the 2010–11 to 2015–16 seasons, the KNVB introduced a third and highest amateur tier called Topklasse , and Hoofdklasse clubs have been able to get promoted to that new division.
Before the 2008–09 season, Hoofdklasse clubs could be promoted by obtaining a professional licence. However, only a club going bankrupt or losing their license could result in clubs leaving professional football. The last clubs leaving professional football in that way were FC Wageningen and VCV Zeeland in 1992, and more recently HFC Haarlem and RBC Roosendaal, who went bankrupt in January 2010 and June 2011 respectively. The most recent additions to the league were AGOVV Apeldoorn in 2003 and FC Omniworld in 2005, expanding the league to 19 and later 20 clubs. However, for the 2010–11 season, the league returned to 18 clubs, as HFC Haarlem went bankrupt and FC Oss were relegated to the newly formed Topklasse. The 2012–13 season ended with 16 teams after AGOVV and SC Veendam went bankrupt. Four teams have been added to bring the division back up to 20 teams in 2013. Achilles '29 has been promoted from the Topklasse with the reserve teams of Ajax, FC Twente and PSV being added as well.
Since the 2016–17 season there is optional relegation to the third-tier, amateur Tweede Divisie. Clubs in the Tweede Divisie had to announce in mid-season if they want to be eligible for promotion. Only if one of those clubs won the Tweede Divisie championship is a team relegated from the Eerste Divisie.
The remainder of the 2019–20 season was cancelled amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, thus there were no promotions or relegations.Before the cancellation, the KNVB met in December 2019 and ruled that promotion to the second division and relegation to the third were suspended until 2022–23, and that the lowest-ranked Eerste Divisie Jong team will exchange places with its highest-ranked Tweede Divisie counterpart.
Clubs with larger fanbases suffered relegation in the 2000s, with Roda JC setting the Eerste Divisie attendance record at 16,150 during their home game against N.E.C. in the 2014–15 season. NAC Breda bettered it a season later in their home match against Go Ahead Eagles, which had an attendance of 17,800 people.
|1956–57||ADO / Blauw Wit||Alkmaar '54 / Stormvogels|
|1957–58||Willem II / SHS||DFC / Stormvogels|
|1958–59||FC Volendam / Sittardia||Leeuwarden / Stormvogels|
|1959–60||GVAV / Alkmaar '54||Vitesse / DFC|
|1960–61||FC Volendam / Blauw Wit||De Volewijckers / DHC|
|1961–62||Heracles / Fortuna Vlaardingen||Excelsior / DHC|
|1964–65||Willem II||USV Elinkwijk|
|1967–68||Holland Sport||AZ '67|
|1970–71||FC Den Bosch||GVAV|
|1971–72||HFC Haarlem||AZ '67|
|1972–73||Roda JC||PEC Zwolle|
|1975–76||HFC Haarlem||FC VVV|
|1977–78||PEC Zwolle||MVV Maastricht|
|1979–80||FC Groningen||FC Volendam|
|1980–81||HFC Haarlem||SC Heerenveen|
|1981–82||Helmond Sport||Fortuna Sittard|
|1982–83||DS '79||FC Volendam|
|1983–84||MVV Maastricht||FC Twente|
|1984–85||SC Heracles||FC VVV|
|1985–86||FC Den Haag||PEC Zwolle|
|1986–87||FC Volendam||Willem II|
|1987–88||RKC Waalwijk||SC Veendam|
|1988–89||Vitesse||FC Den Haag|
|1990–91||De Graafschap||NAC Breda|
|1991–92||SC Cambuur||BVV Den Bosch|
|1994–95||Fortuna Sittard||De Graafschap|
|1996–97||MVV Maastricht||SC Cambuur|
|1998–99||FC Den Bosch||FC Groningen|
|1999–2000||NAC Breda||FC Zwolle|
|2000–01||FC Den Bosch||Excelsior|
|2002–03||ADO Den Haag||FC Emmen|
|2003–04||FC Den Bosch||Excelsior|
|2004–05||Heracles Almelo||Sparta Rotterdam|
|2007–08||FC Volendam||RKC Waalwijk|
|2009–10||De Graafschap||SC Cambuur|
|2010–11||RKC Waalwijk||FC Zwolle|
|2011–12||FC Zwolle||Sparta Rotterdam|
|2012–13||SC Cambuur||FC Volendam|
|2013–14||Willem II||FC Dordrecht|
|2017–18||Jong Ajax||Fortuna Sittard|
|2018–19||FC Twente||Sparta Rotterdam|
|2019–20||No champion and runner-up|
|2020–21||SC Cambuur||Go Ahead Eagles|
1 Blauw Wit, De Volewijckers and DWS merged into FC Amsterdam, which folded in 1982. Reformed as Blauw-Wit Amsterdam, defunct in 2015.
2 Fortuna 54 merged with Sittardia to form FSC, later renamed Fortuna Sittard.
3 ADO merged with Holland Sport into FC Den Haag, later renamed ADO Den Haag
4 SV SVV (SVV) and Drecht Steden 79 (DS '79) merged into SVV/Dordecht'90. Now FC Dordrecht.
|1&2||Direct promotion||Eredivisie a|
|Period champion||Round 1 if it is a low ranked club, semi-finals if it is a highly ranked club.||Eredivisie or Eerste Divisie depends on whether the team wins the pools final.|
|High-ranked clubs||Playoff Semi-finals||Eredivisie or Eerste Divisie depends on whether the team wins the pools final.|
|Lower-ranked club||Playoff Round 1||Eredivisie or Eerste Divisie depends on whether the team wins the pools final.|
aA Jong (reserve) team can become the champion. But they cannot promote, the direct promotion or the playoff ticket will then be given to the next non-Jong team in the table.
Round 1 will be played against lower-ranked teams, in both pools (Pool A or Pool B). Winner Round 1 will compete in the semi-finals against the number 17th or 16th from the Eredivisie.
In both pools of the semi-finals, there are two matches played (Match A and Match B). Match A is the winner of Round 1 against the number 17th or 16th of the Eredivisie. Match B is against two highly ranked clubs. Winner of Match A and Match B will go to the finals
Both pools have their own finals, the finals are played against the winner of Match A and Match B of the semi-finals. The winner of the finals will go to the Eredivisie.
TOP Oss, is a professional association football club based in the town of Oss, North Brabant, Netherlands, that competes in the Eerste Divisie, the second tier of the Dutch football league system. Founded in 1928 as T.O.P., a Dutch abbreviation for Tot Ons Plezier, the team plays its home matches at the Frans Heesen Stadion, where it has been based since 1946.
The Hoofdklasse is the second-highest league of amateur football in the Netherlands, and the fifth tier in general.
The Dutch football league system consists of two fully professional leagues and eight levels of amateur football leagues, the highest of which is called Tweede Divisie, formerly Topklasse. All the leagues are connected by a promotion and relegation system, but in order to be promoted to the Eerste Divisie a club has to submit a solid business plan to be approved by the Royal Dutch Football Association, as well as meet certain stadium demands, and some other demands that the association stated for all the teams in the top two leagues. That way it was possible that the IJsselmeervogels won the 2010–11 Topklasse, but was not promoted, because they did not want to be bound to these demands. FC Oss was promoted instead. The association obliges every team from the two fully professional leagues to contract 16 players full-time, in order to keep these leagues fully professional. In 2016 Tweede Divisie was reintroduced as the top amateur level and placed between the Eerste Divisie and the Derde Divisie.
The Tweede Divisie is the highest amateur football league in the Netherlands. It was established in 1956, together with the Eredivisie and the Eerste Divisie. Between 1956 and 1960 and between 1962 and 1966, the league consisted of two divisions, Tweede Divisie A and Tweede Divisie B. The league was disbanded in 1971. Six clubs were promoted to the Eerste Divisie, while the other eleven teams became amateur clubs.
SV SVV, short for Sportvereniging Schiedamse Voetbal Verenigingen, is a Dutch football club from Schiedam.
Achilles '29 is a football club from Groesbeek, Netherlands, competing in the fifth-tier Hoofdklasse.
Football is the most popular sport in the Netherlands. Football was introduced to the Netherlands by Pim Mulier in the 19th century when in 1879, at the age of 14, he founded Haarlemsche Football Club. Over the next 30 years, football gained popularity in the Netherlands and the late 1890s and early 1900s saw the foundation of many new clubs, notably Sparta Rotterdam in 1888, which is the oldest professional football club in the country, AFC Ajax in 1900, Feyenoord Rotterdam in 1908, and PSV Eindhoven in 1913.
Kozakken Boys is a football club based in Werkendam, North Brabant, Netherlands, which competes in Tweede Divisie, the third tier of Dutch football.
The Eerste Divisie 2010–11 was the 55th season of the Eerste Divisie since its establishment in 1956.
The 2013–14 Eerste Divisie, known as Jupiler League for sponsorship reasons, was the fifty-eight season of Eerste Divisie since its establishment in 1955. It began on 2 August 2013 with the first matches of the season and ended on 26 May 2014 with the return of the finals of the promotion/relegation play-offs, also involving the 16th- and 17th-placed teams from the 2013–14 Eredivisie.
RKSV Groene Ster is a Dutch football club based in Heerlerheide. The club play its home games at Pronsebroek. The club colours, reflected in their crest, kit and name, are green and white. Formed on 2 November 1926, the club have mostly played in the lower tiers of Dutch football, but reached the final of the nationwide KNVB Cup in 1943–44, where they however lost to with a record 9–1 score to winners Willem II. This result still stands as the biggest defeat in a KNVB Cup final. The club are currently playing in the Derde Divisie.
AFC Ajax Amateurs or Ajax Zaterdag is a Dutch amateur football club and the amateur team of the professional club AFC Ajax from Amsterdam. They compete in the Derde Divisie since 2019–20, playing their home matches at the Sportpark De Toekomst training grounds.
The 2015–16 Eerste Divisie, known as Jupiler League for sponsorship reasons, is the sixtieth season of Eerste Divisie since its establishment in 1955. It began in August 2015 with the first matches of the season and ended in May 2016 with the finals of the promotion/relegation play-offs, also involving the 16th- and 17th-placed teams from the 2015–16 Eredivisie.
The 2015–16 Topklasse season was the sixth and last edition of the Dutch third tier since its inauguration in the current form in 2010. A total 32 teams participated in the league: 25 from the 2014–15 Topklasse, and the remaining seven from the 2014–15 Hoofdklasse. As usual, the competition was divided into two leagues: "Saturday" and "Sunday", who differed by the day their games were usually played.
The Derde Divisie, formerly known as Topklasse, is the fourth tier of football in the Netherlands, which had its inaugural season as a third tier in 2010–11 and as a fourth tier in 2016–17. The league is placed between the Tweede Divisie and the Hoofdklasse, the third and fifth tiers of Dutch football, respectively. The introduction of the then Topklasse resulted from discussions between the Royal Dutch Football Association, the Coöperatie Eerste Divisie and the Centraal Overleg Hoofdklassers.
The 2015–16 season of the Hoofdklasse is competed in six leagues, three Saturday leagues and three Sunday leagues. The champions of each group will be promoted directly to the 2016–17 Derde Divisie. The 2015–16 Hoofdklasse started on Saturday 5 September 2014.
The 2018–19 Eerste Divisie, known as Keuken Kampioen Divisie for sponsorship reasons, was the sixty-third season of Eerste Divisie since its establishment in 1955. It began in August 2018 and ended in May 2019 with the returns of the finals of the promotion/relegation play-offs, involving also the 16th- and 17th-placed teams from the 2018–19 Eredivisie.
The 2019–20 Eerste Divisie, known as Keuken Kampioen Divisie for sponsorship reasons, was the sixty-fourth season of Eerste Divisie since its establishment in 1955. It began in August 2019 with the first matches of the season and was scheduled to end in May 2020 with the finals of the promotion/relegation play-offs, also involving the 16th-placed team from the 2019–20 Eredivisie. The season was temporarily halted in March 2020, then postponed for several weeks and later abandoned altogether due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and consequent Dutch government decision to disallow all large-scale events until 1 September 2020.
The 2020–21 Eerste Divisie, known as Keuken Kampioen Divisie for sponsorship reasons, was the sixty-fifth season of Eerste Divisie since its establishment in 1955. It began on 28 August 2020, and came to an end on 12 May 2021.
The 2021–22 Eerste Divisie, known as Keuken Kampioen Divisie for sponsorship reasons, will be the 66th season of Eerste Divisie since its establishment in 1955.