Eerste Divisie
Eerste Divisie
Country Netherlands Netherlands
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1956
Number of teams 20
Promotion to Eredivisie
Relegation to Tweede Divisie
Levels on pyramid 2
Domestic cup(s) KNVB Cup
Current champions Jong Ajax 1st time (2017–18)
Most successful club FC Volendam 6 times
TV Fox Sports (Netherlands)
(Matches of highly ranked clubs) & Veronica TV
(Summary and highlights of all played matches)
Football current event 2018–19

The Eerste Divisie (ˈeːrstə diˈvizi; First Division) is the second-highest tier of football in the Netherlands. It is linked with the top-level Eredivisie via a promotion/relegation system. It is also known as the Jupiler League ʒypiˈleː ˈlik 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 ˈɣʌu̯də(n) ˈɣɪdz diˈvizi 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 enter the Nacompetitie ˈnaː.kɔm.pə.ˌti.(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.

Current teams (2016–17)

City Capacity Position
in 2015–16
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 '29Groesbeek4,50001515th2013–1442013–14400-
Jong AjaxAmsterdam2,0500099th2013–1442013–14400-
Almere City FCAlmere3,2000088th2005–06112005–061100-
SC CambuurLeeuwarden10,40000218th, Eredivisie1965–66452016–17120
FC Den Bosch's-Hertogenbosch8,50001717th1958–59402005–0611411948
FC DordrechtDordrecht4,10001414th1956–57312015–16220-
FC EindhovenEindhoven4,6000044th1957–58551977–78390119542
FC EmmenEmmen8,6000077th1985–86311985–863100-
Fortuna SittardSittard12,51101616th1956–57372002–031440-
De GraafschapDoetinchem12,60000117th, Eredivisie1956–57342016–17130
Helmond SportHelmond4,20001313th1956–57501984–853110-
NAC BredaBreda19,0000033rd1965–66132015–162111921
FC OssOss4,70001919th1992–93252012–13500-
Jong PSVEindhoven2,50001111th2013–1442013–14400-
RKC WaalwijkWaalwijk7,50801818th1984–85102014–15320-
SC TelstarVelsen3,26001212th1956–57451978–793800-
Jong UtrechtUtrecht23,7500201st, Beloften Eredivisie2016–1712016–17100-
FC VolendamVolendam7,3840066th1956–57362009–10760-

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

External links

  • – official website Eerste Divisie (Dutch)
  • – official website KNVB (Dutch) / (English)
  • – Dutch football league tables, records & statistics database (English)
Eerste Divisie 2020-21

Jong Ajax · Almere City FC · Jong AZ · SC Cambuur · FC Den Bosch · FC Dordrecht · FC Eindhoven · Go Ahead Eagles · Helmond Sport · MVV · N.E.C. · TOP Oss · Jong PSV · RKC · Roda JC · Sparta · Telstar · FC Twente · Jong FC Utrecht · FC Volendam

Eerste Divisie seasons

1980-81 · 1981-82 · 1982-83 · 1983-84 · 1984-85 · 1985-86 · 1986-87 · 1987-88 · 1988-89 · 1989-90 · 1990-91 · 1991-92 · 1992-93 · 1993-94 · 1994-95 · 1995-96 · 1996-97 · 1997-98 · 1998-99 · 1999-00 · 2000-01 · 2001-02 · 2002-03 · 2003-04 · 2004-05 · 2005-06 · 2006-07 · 2007-08 · 2008-09 · 2009-10 · 2010-11 · 2011-12 · 2012-13 · 2013-14 · 2014-15 · 2015-16 · 2016-17 · 2017-18 · 2018-19 · 2019-20 · 2020-21 ·

Football in the Netherlands
League competitions KNVB Cup competitions
Eredivisie Netherlands KNVB Cup
Eerste Divisie (U-21) (U-19) Johan Cruijff Schaal
Tweede Divisie (from 2016) (U-17) (U-16) KNVB Amateur Cup
Derde Divisie List of Players KNVB District Cup
Hoofdklasse List of clubs
Eerste, Tweede, Derde List of stadiums
Vierde, Vijfde
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Netherlands Netherlands
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