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The Eerste Divisie ( ) is the second-highest division of football in the Netherlandsmarker. It is linked with the top-level Eredivisie via a promotion/relegation system. It is also known as the Jupiler League due to sponsorship, which is the same name as the top league in Belgium. It is now named after Jupiler Pils; previously, it was most recently known as the Gouden Gids Divisie after a five-year sponsorship deal with the Dutch Yellow Pages.

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 of the Eerste Divisie is automatically promoted to the Eredivisie. Eight other clubs (before 2005/2006: six) enter the Nacompetitie, a promotion/relegation playoff that includes the 16th- and 17th-place clubs in the Eredivisie. The following teams qualify for the Nacompetitie:
  • The club with the best record in the "first period" of the season (after 6 rounds).
  • The club with the best record in the "second period" of the season (rounds 7-12).
  • The club with the best record in the "third period" of the season (rounds 13-18).
  • The club with the best record in the "fourth period" of the season (rounds 19-24).
  • The club with the best record in the "fifth period" of the season (rounds 25-30).
  • The club with the best record in the "sixth period" of the season (rounds 31-36).
  • The two remaining spots are filled at the season's end by the highest-placed clubs that have not already earned automatic promotion or qualified 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 2nd- through 9th-placed clubs in the final table. Clubs in the Nacompetitie face each other in a knock-out system with the numbers 16 and 17 of the Eredivisie for two places in next season's Eredivisie.

Before 2005/2006 there were only four "periods" and six clubs entering a group phase with the numbers 16 and 17 of the Eredivisie. There were two groups of four, with each an Eredivisie club and three Eerste Divisie clubs. The clubs played a double round-robin and the winners of the groups were awarded a place in the Eredivisie next season.

Between seasons 1971/1972 and 2007/2008 teams could not relegate from the Eerste Divisie. From the 2009/2010 season onwards, one team will be relegated from the Eerste Divisie to the Hoofdklasse (the main amateur league and the third tier of Dutch football). Hoofdklasse clubs will be able to get promoted to the Eerste Divisie from the 2010/2011 season onwards, although the exact structure is not known yet. The KNVB wants to introduce an intermediate level, called Topklasse.

Before the 2008/2009 season Hoofdklasse clubs could promote 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. The most recend additions to the league were AGOVV Apeldoorn in 2003 and FC Omniworld in 2005, expanding the league to 19 and later 20 clubs.

Champions

Season Winner Runner Up
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
1962-63 DWS Go Ahead
1963-64 Sittardia Telstar
1964-65 Willem II Elinkwijk
1965-66 Sittardia Xerxes
1966-67 FC Volendam NEC
1967-68 Holland Sport AZ'67
1968-69 SVV HFC Haarlem
1969-70 FC Volendam Excelsior
1970-71 FC Den Bosch GVAV
1971-72 HFC Haarlem AZ'67
1972-73 Roda JC PEC Zwolle
1973-74 Excelsior Vitesse
1974-75 NEC FC Groningen
1975-76 HFC Haarlem FC VVV
1976-77 Vitesse PEC Zwolle
1977-78 PEC Zwolle MVV
1978-79 Excelsior FC Groningen
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 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
1989-90 SVV NAC Breda
1990-91 De Graafschap NAC Breda
1991-92 Cambuur Leeuwarden BVV Den Bosch
1992-93 VVV-Venlo sc Heerenveen
1993-94 Dordrecht '90 NEC
1994-95 Fortuna Sittard De Graafschap
1995-96 AZ FC Emmen
1996-97 MVV Cambuur Leeuwarden
1997-98 AZ Cambuur Leeuwarden
1998-99 FC Den Bosch FC Groningen
1999-2000 NAC Breda FC Zwolle
2000-01 FC Den Bosch Excelsior
2001-02 FC Zwolle Excelsior
2002-03 ADO Den Haag FC Emmen
2003-04 FC Den Bosch SBV Excelsior
2004-05 Heracles Almelo Sparta Rotterdam
2005-06 Excelsior VVV-Venlo
2006-07 De Graafschap VVV-Venlo
2007-08 FC Volendam RKC Waalwijk
2008-09 VVV-Venlo RKC Waalwijk


¹ Blauw Wit, De Volewijckers and DWS merged into FC Amsterdam, which folded in 1982. Now as FC Blauw-Wit Amsterdam

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 to ADO Den Haag

4 Schiedamse Voetbal Vereniging (SVV) and Drecht Steden 79 (DS'79) merged into SVV/Dordecht'90. Now FC Dordrecht.

See also



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