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,[1] while previously it was known as Jupiler League for the same reason.

Eerste Divisie
Founded1956 (1956)
Number of teams20
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toEredivisie
Relegation toTweede Divisie
Domestic cup(s)KNVB-beker
Current championsFC Twente (1st title)
Most championshipsFC Volendam (6 titles)
TV partnersESPN+
(Matches of highly ranked clubs) & Veronica TV
(Summary and highlights of all played matches)
2019–20 Eerste Divisie


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 enter the Nacompetitie [ˈnaːkɔmpəˌti(t)si], 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 8 rounds).
  • The club with the best record in the "second period" of the season (rounds 9–16).
  • The club with the best record in the "third period" of the season (rounds 17–24).
  • The club with the best record in the "fourth period" of the season (rounds 25–32).
  • 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.

Between seasons 1971/1972 and 2007/2009 teams could not relegate from the Eerste Divisie. From the 2009/2010 season onwards, one team has been relegated from the Eerste Divisie to the Hoofdklasse (then the main amateur league of Dutch football). From the 2010/2011 to 2015/2016 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 2008/2009 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, 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 BV 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 2016/2017 season there is automatic relegation to the third-tier, semi-professional 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.

Attendance record

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 17800 people.

Current Teams

Club Location
Almere City FC Almere
SC Cambuur Leeuwarden
FC Den Bosch 's-Hertogenbosch
FC Dordrecht Dordrecht
FC Eindhoven Eindhoven
Go Ahead Eagles Deventer
Helmond Sport Helmond
Jong Ajax Amsterdam
Jong AZ Alkmaar
Jong PSV Eindhoven
Jong FC Utrecht Utrecht
MVV Maastricht Maastricht
N.E.C. Nijmegen
RKC Waalwijk Waalwijk
Roda JC Kerkrade Kerkrade
Sparta Rotterdam Rotterdam
SC Telstar Velsen
TOP Oss Oss
FC Twente Enschede
FC Volendam Volendam

League table

Season 2016-17

City Capacity Position
in 2016-17 Eerste Divisie
First season
in Eerste Divisie
Number of seasons
in Eerste Divisie
First season of
current spell
in Eerste Divisie
Number of seasons
of current spell
in Eerste Divisie
Eerste Divisie
titles 1
Most recent
Achilles '29Groesbeek35001520th, Relegated2013–1442013–14400-
Jong AjaxAmsterdam2,0500092nd2013–1442013–14400-
Almere City FCAlmere3,2000088th2005–06112005–061100-
SC CambuurLeeuwarden10,4000023rd1965–66452016–17120
FC Den Bosch's-Hertogenbosch8,50001714th1958–59402005–0611411948
FC DordrechtDordrecht4,10001419th1956–57312015–16220-
FC EindhovenEindhoven4,20000411th1957–58551977–78390119542
FC EmmenEmmen8,6000079th1985–86311985–863100-
Fortuna SittardSittard12,51101617th1956–57372002–031440-
De GraafschapDoetinchem12,60000112th1956–57342016–17130
Helmond SportHelmond4,20001313th1956–57501984–853110-
NAC BredaBreda19,0000035th, Promoted1965–66132015–162111921
FC OssOss4,70001915th1992–93252012–13500-
Jong PSVEindhoven2,5000114th2013–1442013–14400-
RKC WaalwijkWaalwijk7,50801810th1984–85102014–15320-
SC TelstarVelsen3,26001216th1956–57451978–793800-
Jong UtrechtUtrecht23,75002018th2016–1712016–17100-
FC VolendamVolendam7,3840066th1956–57362009–10760-
VVV-VenloVenlo8,0000021st, Promoted1963–64362013–144312017

1 Only the Eerste Divisie titles (starting in the 1956–57 season) are displayed here
2 Obtained as EVV


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 USV 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 Maastricht
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 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
1989–90 SVV NAC Breda
1990–91 De Graafschap NAC Breda
1991–92 SC Cambuur 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 Maastricht SC Cambuur
1997–98 AZ SC Cambuur
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 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
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
2014–15 NEC FC Eindhoven
2015–16 Sparta VVV-Venlo
2016-17 VVV-Venlo Jong Ajax
2017-18 Jong Ajax Fortuna Sittard
2018–19 FC Twente Sparta Rotterdam

1 Blauw Wit, De Volewijckers and DWS merged into FC Amsterdam, which folded in 1982. Now reformed as 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 ADO Den Haag
4 Schiedamse Voetbal Vereniging (SVV) and Drecht Steden 79 (DS'79) merged into SVV/Dordecht'90. Now FC Dordrecht.



Position Playoff Following season
1Direct promotionEredivisiea
period championRound 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.
highly ranked clubsPlayoff Semi finalsEredivisie or Eerste Divisie depends on whether the team wins the pools final.
Lower ranked clubPlayoff Round 1Eredivisie or Eerste Divisie depends on whether the team wins the pools final.

aA Jong (reserve) team can become the champion. But they can't promote, the direct promotion or the playoff ticket will then be giving to the next non Jong team in the end table.

Round 1

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.

Semi Finals

In both Pools of the semi finals, there 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.


Position degradation Following season
20directaRelegation to Tweede Divisie

ano relegation in season 2018/19

See also


  • – official website Eerste Divisie (in Dutch)
  • – official website KNVB (in Dutch) / (in English)
  • – Dutch football league tables, records & statistics database (in English)
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