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The Eredivisie (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈeːrədiˌvizi]; "Honor Division") is the highest echelon of professional football in the Netherlands. The league was founded in 1956, two years after the start of professional football in the Netherlands. At the end of the 2015–2016 season it was ranked the 13th best league in Europe by UEFA.[1]

Eredivisie
Eredivisie nieuw logo 2017-.svg
Founded 1956; 61 years ago (1956)
Country Netherlands Netherlands
Confederation UEFA
Number of teams 18
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Eerste Divisie
Domestic cup(s) KNVB Cup
Johan Cruyff Shield
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current champions Feyenoord (15th title)
(2016–17)
Most championships Ajax (33 titles)
TV partners Fox Sports Eredivisie
NOS (Highlights)
Website Eredivisie.nl
2017–18 Eredivisie

The top division consists of 18 clubs. Each club meets every other club twice during the season, once at home and once away. At the end of each season, the club at the bottom is automatically relegated to the second level of the Dutch league system, the Eerste Divisie (First Division). At the same time, the champion of the Eerste Divisie will be automatically promoted to the Eredivisie. The next two clubs from the bottom of the Eredivisie go to separate promotion/relegation play-offs. The play-offs are played in two groups. Each group has one Eredivisie club and three high-placed clubs from the Eerste Divisie. In both promotion/relegation play-off groups, each club plays a home-and-away series with the other clubs. The winner of each play-off group plays in the following season's Eredivisie, with the other teams going to the Eerste Divisie.

The winner of the Eredivisie claims the Dutch national championship. Ajax has won most titles, 25 (33 national titles). PSV Eindhoven are next with 20 (23), and Feyenoord follow with 10 (15). Since 1965, these three clubs have won all except for three titles (the 1981 and 2009 titles went to AZ and FC Twente won the 2010 title). Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord are known as the "Big Three" of Dutch football. They are the only ones in their current forms to have appeared in every edition of the Eredivisie since its formation. A fourth club, FC Utrecht, is the product of a 1970 merger between three of that city's clubs, one of which, VV DOS, had also never been relegated out of the Eredivisie.

From 1990 to 1999, the official name of the league was PTT Telecompetitie (after the sponsor, PTT Telecom), which was changed to KPN Telecompetitie (because PTT Telecom changed its name to KPN Telecom in 1999) and to KPN Eredivisie in 2000. From 2002 to 2005, the league was called the Holland Casino Eredivisie. Since the 2005–06 season, the league has been sponsored by the Sponsorloterij (lottery), but for legal reasons its name could not be attached to the league (the Dutch government was against the name, because the Eredivisie would, after Holland Casino's sponsorship, yet again be sponsored by a company providing games of chance). On 8 August 2012 it was made public that the Australian tycoon Rupert Murdoch had secured the rights to the Eredivisie for 12 years at the expense of 1 billion euros, beginning in the 2013/2014 season.[2] Within this deal the five largest Eredivisie clubs should receive 5 million euros per year for the duration of the contract.[3]

Contents

HistoryEdit

From the foundation of the Dutch football championship until 1954, the title was decided through play-offs by a handful of clubs who had previously won their regional league.[4] The competition was purely an amateur one; the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) rejected any form of payment and suspended players who were caught receiving salary or transfer fees.[5] The call for professional football grew in the early fifties after many national team members left to play abroad in search for financial benefits.[6] The KNVB would usually suspend these players, preventing them from appearing for the Dutch national team. After the North Sea flood of 1953, the Dutch players abroad (mainly playing in the French league) organised a charity match against the French national team in Paris. The match was boycotted by the KNVB, but after the assembled Dutch players defeated the French (2–1), the Dutch public witnessed the heights that could be achieved through professional football.[7] To serve the growing interest, a dissident professional football association (the NBVB) and league were founded for the 1954–55 season.[8] On 3 July 1954, the KNVB met with a group of concerned amateur club chairmen, who feared the best players would join the professional teams. The meeting, dubbed the slaapkamerconferentie ('bedroom conference'), led to the Association reluctantly accepting semi-professionalism.[5]

Meanwhile, both the KNVB and the NBVB started their separate competition. The first professional football match was contested between Alkmaar and Venlo.[5] The leagues went on for eleven rounds, before a merger was negotiated between the two federations in November. Both leagues were cancelled and a new, combined competition emerged immediately. De Graafschap, Amsterdam, Alkmaar and Fortuna '54 from the NBVB were accepted to the new league. Other clubs merged, which led to new names like Rapid J.C., Holland Sport and Roda Sport. The first (semi-)professional league was won by Willem II.[9] For the 1956–57 season, the KNVB abandoned the regional league system. The Eredivisie was founded, in which the eighteen best clubs nationwide directly played for the league title without play-offs. The inaugural members of the Eredivisie in 1956 were Ajax, BVC, BVV, DOS, EVV, Elinkwijk, SC Enschede, Feijenoord, Fortuna '54, GVAV, MVV, NAC, NOAD, PSV, Rapid J.C., Sparta, VVV '03 and Willem II.[10] Ajax was the first team to claim the title that season.[10]

Current teams (2016–17)Edit

Club
City Capacity Position
in 2016–17
First season
in Eredivisie
Number of seasons
in Eredivisie
First season of
current spell
Number of seasons
of current spell
Eredivisie titles National titles Last title
Ajaxa b Amsterdam 52,502 2nd 1956–57 61 1956–57 61 25 33 2014
AZ Alkmaar 17,250 6th 1968–69 39 1998–99 19 2 2 2009
ADO Den Haag The Hague 15,000 11th 1957–58 43 2008–09 9 0 2 1943
Excelsior Rotterdam 4,500 12th 1970–71 20 2014–15 3 0 0 -
Feyenoorda b Rotterdam 51,137 1st 1956–57 61 1956–57 61 10 15 2017
Go Ahead Eagles Deventer 9,800 18th 1963–64 31 2016–17 1 0 0 1933
Groningen Groningen 22,579 8th 1971–72 38 2000–01 17 0 0 -
Heerenveen Heerenveen 26,100 9th 1990–91 25 1993–94 24 0 0 -
Heracles Almelo 12,080 10th 1962–63 17 2005–06 12 0 2 1941
N.E.C. Nijmegen Nijmegen 12,500 16th 1967–68 40 2015–16 2 0 0 -
PSVa b Eindhoven 36,500 3rd 1956–57 61 1956–57 61 20 23 2016
Roda Kerkrade 19,979 17th 1973–74 43 2015–16 2 0 0 -
Sparta Rotterdama Rotterdam 11,000 15th 1956–57 52 2016–17 1 1 6 1959
Twente Enschede 30,205 7th 1965–66 51 1984–85 33 1 1 2010
Utrechtb Utrecht 22,750 4th 1970–71 47 1970–71 47 0 0 -
Vitesse Arnhem 25,500 5th 1971–72 32 1989–90 28 0 0 -
Willem IIa Tilburg 14,700 13th 1956–57 41 2014–15 3 0 3 1955
PEC Zwolle Zwolle 13,500 14th 1978–79 17 2012–13 5 0 0 -

a Founding member of the Eredivisie
b Never been relegated from the Eredivisie

Performance by clubEdit

Club Winner Runner-up Winning years
Ajax 33
   
23 1917–18, 1918–19, 1930–31, 1931–32, 1933–34, 1936–37, 1938–39, 1946–47, 1956–57, 1959–60, 1965–66, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1989–90, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14
PSV 23
  
14 1928–29, 1934–35, 1950–51, 1962–63, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1991–92, 1996–97, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2014–15, 2015–16
Feyenoord 15
 
21 1923–24, 1927–28, 1935–36, 1937–38, 1939–40, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1964–65, 1968–69, 1970–71, 1973–74, 1983–84, 1992–93, 1998–99, 2016–17
HVV Den Haag 10
 
1 1890–91, 1895–96, 1899–00, 1900–01, 1901–02, 1902–03, 1904–05, 1906–07, 1909–10, 1913–14
Sparta Rotterdam 6 1908–09, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1914–15, 1958–59
RAP 5 3 1891–92, 1893–94, 1896–97, 1897–98, 1898–99
Go Ahead Eagles 4 5 1916–17, 1921–22, 1929–30, 1932–33
Koninklijke HFC 3 3 1889–90, 1892–93, 1894–95
Willem II 3 1 1915–16, 1951–52, 1954–55
HBS Craeyenhout 3 1903–04, 1905–06, 1924–25
AZ 2 2 1980–81, 2008–09
Heracles 2 1 1926–27, 1940–41
ADO Den Haag 2 1941–42, 1942–43
RCH 2 1922–23, 1952–53
NAC Breda 1 4 1920–21
Twente 1 3 2009–10
DWS 1 3 1963–64
Roda* 1 2 1955–56
Be Quick 1 2 1919–20
FC Eindhoven 1 2 1953–54
SC Enschede 1 1 1925–26
DOS 1 1 1957–58
Den Bosch 1 1 1947–48
De Volewijckers 1 1943–44
HFC Haarlem 1 1945–46
Limburgia 1 1949–50
SVV 1 1948–49
Quick Den Haag 1 1907–08
VV Concordia 1 1888–89
  • As Rapid JC

PlayoffsEdit

European competitionEdit

Position Playoff Qualification to
1  – Champions League group stage
2  – Champions League 3rd qualifying round for non-champions
3 / 4  – Europa League 3rd qualifying round
4 – 7 / 5 – 6 Europa League 4th vs 7th and 5th vs 6th or 5th vs 8th and 6th vs 7th; the two winners play each other to qualify for:
Europa League 2nd qualifying round
Cup winner  – Europa League Group Stage

RelegationEdit

Position Playoff Following season
16 – 17 Nacompetitie Two Eredivisie teams each play two teams from the Eerste Divisie against relegation
18  – Relegation to Eerste Divisie

AttendanceEdit

2015–16 Attendance
Club Attendance
Ajax 50,490
Feyenoord 47,500
PSV 33,354
FC Twente 30,005
Heerenveen 22,373
FC Groningen 20,259
FC Utrecht 16,364
AZ 15,409
Roda JC 13,301
Vitesse 13,212
ADO Den Haag 12,709
Heracles 12,084
PEC Zwolle 11,887
NEC 11,281
Willem II 11,000
Cambuur 9,815
De Graafschap 8,100
Excelsior 3,394
Average 18,467

Since the beginning of the league, there have been three clubs with an attendance much higher than the others: Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord. Clubs like Heerenveen, FC Twente and FC Groningen also have fairly large fanbases. The regular season average league attendance was just over 7,000 in 1990, but this figure has risen sharply over the years thanks to the opening of new stadiums and the expansion of existing ones nationwide. Average attendance for the 2015–16 season was 18,467, with Ajax having the largest (48,653) and Excelsior having the smallest (3,394). Ajax's figures however differ from those provided by the Amsterdam ArenA since the club counts all tickets sold instead of the number of people going through the turnstiles.

All-time ranking (since 1956)Edit

Last updated following the 2016–17 season
Playing in the Eredivisie
Playing in the Eerste Divisie
Playing in the amateur leagues
Club has been disestablished or merged into another club
Rank Club Seasons Played Won Drawn Lost Points Avg.
Points
Goals
for
Goals
against
Goal
difference
1. Ajax 61 2058 1360 375 323 4455 2,16 5178 2102 +3076
2. PSV 61 2058 1246 443 369 4181 2,03 4727 2169 +2558
3. Feyenoord 61 2058 1168 478 412 3982 1,93 4389 2360 +2029
4. FC Twente 51 1730 766 466 498 2764 1,60 2769 2184 +585
5. Sparta Rotterdam 52 1752 612 492 648 2328 1,33 2642 2726 -84
6. FC Utrecht 47 1598 589 407 602 2174 1,36 2267 2401 -134
7. Roda JC Kerkrade 43 1462 555 385 522 2050 1,40 2218 2139 +79
8. AZ Alkmaar 39 1326 559 334 433 2011 1,52 2194 1836 +363
9. NAC Breda 48 1620 515 425 680 1970 1,22 2169 2681 -512
10. ADO Den Haag 43 1446 476 370 600 1798 1,24 2069 2370 -301
11. FC Groningen 38 1292 443 355 494 1684 1,30 1836 2007 -171
12. Willem II 41 1387 420 319 647 1579 1,14 1919 2473 -554
13. Vitesse 32 1088 418 308 362 1562 1,44 1624 1507 +117
14. N.E.C. 40 1360 379 382 599 1519 1,12 1565 2132 -567
15. MVV Maastricht 36 1208 350 356 502 1406 1,16 1527 1992 -465
16. sc Heerenveen 25 850 351 212 287 1265 1,49 1434 1303 +131
17. Go Ahead Eagles 31 1042 325 268 449 1243 1,19 1399 1701 -302
18. RKC Waalwijk 23 782 240 197 345 917 1,17 1014 1269 -255
19. FC Volendam 25 842 228 215 399 899 1,07 994 1513 -519
20. VVV-Venlo 20 680 189 176 315 743 1,09 886 1250 -364
21. Fortuna Sittard 19 646 179 193 274 730 1,13 756 1005 -249
22. HFC Haarlem 18 612 172 178 262 694 1,13 695 978 -283
23. PEC Zwolle 17 578 157 161 260 632 1,09 739 1013 -274
24. Heracles Almelo 17 562 167 131 264 632 1,12 749 1041 -292
25. Excelsior 20 680 148 173 359 617 0,91 743 1264 -521
26. De Graafschap 20 680 149 170 361 617 0,91 735 1298 -563
27. DOS 14 460 168 109 183 613 1,33 790 848 -58
28. AFC DWS 13 430 147 117 166 558 1,30 588 644 -56
29. Fortuna '54 12 392 141 99 152 522 1,33 635 700 -65
30. Telstar 14 468 118 140 210 494 1,06 530 754 -224
31. GVAV 13 392 123 115 154 484 1,23 533 595 -62
32. FC Den Bosch 12 442 114 123 205 465 1,05 491 756 -265
33. SC Enschede 9 294 121 77 96 440 1,50 565 490 +75
34. Rapid JC 6 204 73 47 84 266 1,30 307 350 -43
35. USV Elinkwijk 7 234 65 50 119 245 1,05 306 483 -177
36. FC Amsterdam 6 204 61 56 87 239 1,17 263 321 -58
37. Blauw-Wit 6 196 65 42 89 237 1,21 334 401 -67
38. SC Cambuur 7 238 49 64 125 211 0,89 258 437 -179
39. Holland Sport 4 136 37 34 65 145 1,07 168 279 -111
40. FC Dordrecht 6 204 31 46 127 139 0,68 208 463 -255
41. RBC Roosendaal 5 170 35 26 109 131 0,77 164 358 -194
42. NOAD 4 136 33 30 73 129 0,95 187 311 -124
43. Sittardia 4 132 32 29 71 125 0,95 148 256 -108
44. Xerxes/DHC 2 68 26 17 25 95 1,40 92 95 -3
45. EVV 3 102 23 25 54 94 0,92 107 209 -102
46. BVC Amsterdam 2 68 20 20 28 80 1,18 103 130 -27
47. BVV 2 68 18 10 40 64 0,94 126 172 -46
48. SC Veendam 2 68 12 23 33 59 0,87 74 127 -53
49. FC Wageningen 2 68 13 18 37 57 0,84 72 137 -65
50. De Volewijckers 2 64 15 10 39 55 0,86 99 189 -90
51. Helmond Sport 2 68 12 18 38 54 0,79 93 162 -69
52. SVV 2 68 13 13 42 52 0,76 62 142 -80
53. Alkmaar '54 1 34 6 12 16 30 0,88 39 61 -22

Player recordsEdit

AppearancesEdit

Rank Name Games Playing position First match Last match
1   Pim Doesburg 687 Goalkeeper 1962–63 1986–87
2   Jan Jongbloed 684 Goalkeeper 1959–60 1985–86
3   Piet Schrijvers 576 Goalkeeper 1963–64 1984–85

GoalsEdit

Rank Name Goals Games Goals per game Playing position First goal Last goal
1   Willy van der Kuijlen 311 545 0.57 Forward 1964–65 1981–82
2   Ruud Geels 266 392 0.68 Forward 1964–65 1983–84
3   Johan Cruijff 216 309 0.70 Forward 1964–65 1983–84

[11]

Top scorersEdit

Season Topscorer Goals Club
1956–57   Coen Dillen 43 PSV
1957–58   Leo Canjels 32 NAC
1958–59   Leo Canjels 34 NAC
1959–60   Henk Groot[12] 37 Ajax
1960–61   Henk Groot 41 Ajax
1961–62   Dick Tol 27 FC Volendam
1962–63   Pierre Kerkhofs 22 PSV
1963–64   Frans Geurtsen 28 DWS
1964–65   Frans Geurtsen 23 DWS
1965–66   Willy van der Kuijlen
  Piet Kruiver
23 PSV
Feyenoord
1966–67   Johan Cruijff 33 Ajax
1967–68   Ove Kindvall 28 Feyenoord
1968–69   Dick van Dijk
  Ove Kindvall
30 FC Twente
Feyenoord
1969–70   Willy van der Kuijlen 26 PSV
1970–71   Ove Kindvall 24 Feyenoord
1971–72   Johan Cruijff 25 Ajax
1972–73   Cas Janssens
  Willy Brokamp
18 NEC
MVV
1973–74   Willy van der Kuijlen 27 PSV
1974–75   Ruud Geels 30 Ajax
1975–76   Ruud Geels 29 Ajax
1976–77   Ruud Geels 34 Ajax
1977–78   Ruud Geels 30 Ajax
1978–79   Kees Kist 34 AZ'67
1979–80   Kees Kist 27 AZ'67
1980–81   Ruud Geels 22 Sparta
1981–82   Wim Kieft 32 Ajax
1982–83   Peter Houtman 30 Feyenoord
1983–84   Marco van Basten 28 Ajax
1984–85   Marco van Basten 22 Ajax
1985–86   Marco van Basten 37 Ajax
1986–87   Marco van Basten 31 Ajax
1987–88   Wim Kieft 29 PSV
1988–89   Romário 19 PSV
1989–90   Romário 23 PSV
1990–91   Romário[13]
  Dennis Bergkamp[13]
25 PSV
Ajax
1991–92   Dennis Bergkamp[14] 24 Ajax
1992–93   Dennis Bergkamp[15] 26 Ajax
1993–94   Jari Litmanen 26 Ajax
1994–95   Ronaldo 30 PSV
1995–96   Luc Nilis 21 PSV
1996–97   Luc Nilis 21 PSV
1997–98   Nikos Machlas 34 Vitesse
1998–99   Ruud van Nistelrooy 31 PSV
1999-00   Ruud van Nistelrooy 29 PSV
2000–01   Mateja Kežman 24 PSV
2001–02   Pierre van Hooijdonk 24 Feyenoord
2002–03   Mateja Kežman 35 PSV
2003–04   Mateja Kežman 31 PSV
2004–05   Dirk Kuyt 29 Feyenoord
2005–06   Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 33 SC Heerenveen/Ajax
2006–07   Afonso Alves 34 SC Heerenveen
2007–08   Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 33 Ajax
2008–09   Mounir El Hamdaoui 23 AZ
2009–10   Luis Suárez 35 Ajax
2010–11   Björn Vleminckx 23 NEC
2011–12   Bas Dost 32 SC Heerenveen
2012–13   Wilfried Bony 31 Vitesse
2013–14   Alfreð Finnbogason 29 SC Heerenveen
2014–15   Memphis Depay 22 PSV
2015–16   Vincent Janssen 27 AZ
2016–17   Nicolai Jørgensen 21 Feyenoord

Media coverageEdit

Country Network Details
Netherlands Fox Sports Eredivisie; NOS Fox Sports Eredivisie (a pay-TV channel) airs all matches live and the NOS broadcasts match summaries on the open channels NPO 1 and 3
Azerbaijan CBC Sport Live Eredivisie matches
Belgium Play Sports Two matches per week, since 2015
India NEO Sports Two–three matches per week (Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV matches only)
Albania SuperSport Albania One match per week and highlights
Italy Sky Sport (Italy) Two matches per week, and highlights
Turkey Tivibu Sports Live matches every week, two or three times
Russia Telekanal Futbol Live matches every week, two or three times
Croatia Slovenia,Serbia Sport Klub Live matches every week, two or three times
Spain Movistar Fútbol (Movistar+) Three matches every week, and highlights
Portugal Sport TV Two or three live matches every week
Slovakia Arena Sport Two or three live matches every week
Germany Sportdigital.tv Up to three matches per week, and highlights (mostly Ajax, PSV and at times Feyenoord matches)
South Korea tvN Live PSV matches
United Kingdom Sky Sports 5 Live Eredivisie matches
Norway Viasat Fotball One match live on Sunday 11.30 CET
Lithuania Sport1 Up to two matches per week and highlights
Bulgaria Mtel Sport 1 and Mtel Sport 2 Two or three live matches every week
Brazil ESPN + Two live matches every week, one only on Watch ESPN.

Eredivisie teams and major UEFA and FIFA competitionsEdit

The following sixteen international tournaments were won by Eredivisie teams:

The UEFA Super Cup was founded by a Dutch reporter named Anton Witkamp and Ajax's 1973 win was the first time the tournament was contested officially.

The following 24 European finals took place at Dutch venues, or are scheduled to take place at them:

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Country coefficients 2015/16". uefa.com. UEFA. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  2. ^ van der Kraan, Marcel (8 August 2012). "Murdoch koopt tv-rechten eredivisie". De Telegraaf. TMG Landelijke Media B.V. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  3. ^ Seegers, Jules (8 August 2012). "5 vragen over wat de deal Murdoch-Eredivisie betekent voor de kijker". nrc.nl. NRC Media. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  4. ^ "Netherlands – Regional Analysis". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c (in Dutch)"Eredivisie – ontstaan". Vak Q. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "Professionalism and European Games". TimeRime. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  7. ^ (in Dutch)"De Watersnoodwedstrijd van Cor van der Hart". Sportgeschiedenis. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Netherlands Final Tables 1950–1954". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "Netherlands 1954/55". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Netherlands 1956/57". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Zestig jaar Eredivisie: Van der Kuylen, Doesburg en meer - Voetbal International (in Dutch)
  12. ^ Topscorers Eredivisie 1959–1960, Eredivisielive.nl (Dutch)
  13. ^ a b Topscorers Eredivisie 1990–1991, Eredivisielive.nl (Dutch)
  14. ^ Topscorers Eredivisie 1991–1992, Eredivisielive.nl (Dutch)
  15. ^ Topscorers Eredivisie 1992–1993, Eredivisielive.nl (Dutch)

External linksEdit