- Eerste Divisie
Infobox sports league
current_season=Eerste Divisie 2008-09
FC VolendamThe Eerste Divisie (English: "First Division") is the second-highest division of football in the Netherlands. It is linked with the top-level Eredivisievia 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 JupilerPils; 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
Christmasand 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
Eredivisiefor 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 a 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 2008/2009 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 2009/2010 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 Wageningenand VCV Zeelandin 1992. The most recend additions to the league were AGOVV Apeldoornin 2003 and FC Omniworldin 2005, expanding the league to 19 and later 20 clubs.
Blauw Wit, De Volewijckersand DWSmerged into FC Amsterdam, which folded in 1982. Now as FC Blauw-Wit Amsterdam
² Fortuna 54 merged with Sittardia to form FSC, later renamed
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
Football in the Netherlands
Sports league attendances
* [http://www.jupilerleague.nl/ JupilerLeague.nl - Official website Eerste Divisie] nl icon
* [http://www.knvb.nl/ KNVB.nl - Official website KNVB] nl icon / en icon
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