The Eredivisie (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈeːrədivizi]; "Honour Division" or "Premier Division") is the highest level of professional football in the Netherlands. The league was founded in 1956, two years after the start of professional football in the Netherlands. He is considered one the best European League and widely regarded as one of the greatest League in the world, As of the 2020–21 season, it is ranked the 7th best league in Europe by UEFA.[1]

Organising bodyKNVB
Founded1956; 65 years ago (1956)
Number of teams18
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toEerste Divisie
Domestic cup(s)
International cup(s)
Current championsAjax (35th title)
Most championshipsAjax (35 titles)
Most appearancesPim Doesburg (687)
Top goalscorerWilly van der Kuijlen (311)
TV partnersList of broadcasters
Current: 2021–22 Eredivisie

The Eredivisie 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 two clubs at the bottom are automatically relegated to the second level of the Dutch league system, the Eerste Divisie (First Division), while the champion and runner-up of the Eerste Divisie are automatically promoted to the Eredivisie. The club finishing third from the bottom of the bottom of the Eredivisie goes to separate promotion/relegation play-offs with eight high-placed clubs from the Eerste Divisie.

The winner of the Eredivisie claims the Dutch national championship. Ajax has won the most titles, with 35 national titles. PSV Eindhoven are next with 24, and Feyenoord follow with 15. Since 1965, these three clubs have won all but three Eredivisie 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" or "Traditional Top Three" of Dutch football. They are the only clubs in their current forms to have never been relegated out 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 tycoon Rupert Murdoch had secured the rights to the Eredivisie for 12 years at the expense of 1 billion euros, beginning in the 2013–14 season.[2] Within this deal the five largest Eredivisie clubs should receive 5 million euros per year for the duration of the contract.[3] In 2020, the Eredivisie was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


From the foundation of the Dutch national football championship in 1898 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 (2020–21)

City Capacity Position
in 2018–19
1st season
in Eredivisie
No. of seasons
in Eredivisie
1st season of
current spell
No. of seasons
of current spell
Eredivisie titles National titles Last title
Ajaxa bAmsterdam54,9901st1956–57641956–576426352021
ADO Den HaagThe Hague15,0009th1957–58462008–0912021943
FC EmmenbEmmen8,60014th2018–1922018–19200-
Feyenoorda bRotterdam51,1373rd1956–57641956–576410152017
Fortuna SittardSittard12,50015th1968–69212018–19200-
FC GroningenGroningen22,5798th1971–72412000–012000-
SC HeerenveenHeerenveen27,22411th1990–91281993–942700-
Heracles AlmeloAlmelo12,0807th1962–63202005–0615021941
PSVa bEindhoven36,5002nd1956–57641956–576421242018
Sparta RotterdamaRotterdam11,026promoted*1956–57542019–201161959
FC TwentecEnschede30,205promoted*1956–57612019–201112010
FC Utrechtb dUtrecht23,7506th1970–71501970–715000-
RKC WaalwijkWaalwijk7,508promoted*1988–89242019–20100-
Willem IIaTilburg14,50010th1956–57432014–156031955
PEC ZwolleZwolle14,00013th1978–79202012–13800-

* FC Twente finished first in the Eerste Divisie. Sparta Rotterdam finish second and won against De Graafschap in the playoff final. RKC Waalwijk finished 8th and defeated Go Ahead Eagles in the playoff final.

a Founding member of the Eredivisie
b Never been relegated from the Eredivisie
c Founding member of the Eredivisie (as Sportclub Enschede)
d Founding member of the eredivisie (as VV DOS and USV Elinkwijk)



[citation needed]

Club Winner Runner-up Winning years
231917–18, 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, 2018–19, 2020–21
PSV Eindhoven24
141928–29, 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, 2017–18
211923–24, 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 Haag10
11890–91, 1895–96, 1899–1900, 1900–01, 1901–02, 1902–03, 1904–05, 1906–07, 1909–10, 1913–14
Sparta Rotterdam61908–09, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1914–15, 1958–59
RAP531891–92, 1893–94, 1896–97, 1897–98, 1898–99
Go Ahead Eagles451916–17, 1921–22, 1929–30, 1932–33
Koninklijke HFC331889–90, 1892–93, 1894–95
Willem II311915–16, 1951–52, 1954–55
HBS Craeyenhout31903–04, 1905–06, 1924–25
AZ231980–81, 2008–09
Heracles Almelo211926–27, 1940–41
ADO Den Haag21941–42, 1942–43
RCH21922–23, 1952–53
NAC Breda141920–21
FC Twente132009–10
Roda JC Kerkrade*121955–56
Be Quick121919–20
FC Eindhoven121953–54
SC Enschede111925–26
FC Den Bosch111947–48
De Volewijckers11943–44
HFC Haarlem11945–46
Quick Den Haag11907–08
VV Concordia11888–89

* As Rapid JC.


European competition

Position Playoff Qualification to
1st Champions League Group Stage
2nd Champions League 2nd qualifying round of the League Path. (3rd qualifying round if the Europa League winners have already qualified for the UCL group stage through their domestic league)
3rd/4th Conference League 3rd qualifying round
4th–7th/5th–8thEuropa League4th vs 7th and 5th vs 6th or 5th vs 8th and 6th vs 7th; the two winners play each other to qualify for:
Europa Conference League 2nd qualifying round
KNVB Cup winners Europa League Play-off Round


Position Playoff What happens next
16thNacompetitieOne Eredivisie team play the semi finals against an Eerste Divisie team. Who wins will compete in the poule final for a place in the Eredivisie.
17th-18thDirect relegation to the Eerste Divisie


2018–19 Attendance
Club Attendance
Ajax 52,987
Feyenoord 42,065
PSV 34,071
FC Utrecht 18,846
SC Heerenveen 18,743
NAC Breda 18,262
FC Groningen 18,025
Vitesse 15,422
AZ 15,027
PEC Zwolle 13,478
Willem II 12,998
ADO Den Haag 12,561
De Graafschap 12,321
Heracles Almelo 10,993
Fortuna Sittard 9,100
FC Emmen 8,238
VVV Venlo 6,828
Excelsior 4,223
Average 18,010

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 Utrecht 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 2018–19 season was 18,010, with Ajax having the largest (52,987) and Excelsior having the smallest (4,223). Ajax's figures however differ from those provided by the Johan Cruyff Arena since the club counts all tickets sold instead of the number of people going through the turnstiles.

All-time ranking (since 1956)

Last updated following the 2017–18 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.
4.FC Twente52176477147551827881,5828062247+559
5.Sparta Rotterdam53176461949866923551,3226762801-125
6.FC Utrecht48163260341961022281,3723252454-129
8.Roda JC Kerkrade44149656339154220801,3922602208+52
9.NAC Breda49165452443269820041,2122102738-528
10.ADO Den Haag44148048937861318451,2521142423-309
11.FC Groningen39132645136950617221,3018862057-171
12.Willem II42142143032666416161,1419692536-567
15.MVV Maastricht36120835035650214061,1615271992-465 Heerenveen2688436322229913111,4814821356+126
17.Go Ahead Eagles31104232526844912431,1913991701-302
18.RKC Waalwijk237822401973459171,1710141269-255
19.FC Volendam258422282153998991,079941513-519
21.Fortuna Sittard196461791932747301,137561005-249
22.HFC Haarlem186121721782626941,13695978-283
23.PEC Zwolle186121691692746761,107811067-286
24.Heracles Almelo185961781402786741,137991105-306
26.De Graafschap206801491703616170,917351298-563
28.AFC DWS134301471171665581,30588644-56
29.Fortuna '5412392141991525221,33635700-65
32.FC Den Bosch124421141232054651,05491756-265
33.SC Enschede929412177964401,50565490+75
34.Rapid JC62047347842661,30307350-43
35.USV Elinkwijk723465501192451,05306483-177
36.FC Amsterdam62046156872391,17263321-58
38.SC Cambuur723849641252110,89258437-179
39.Holland Sport41363734651451,07168279-111
40.FC Dordrecht620431461271390,68208463-255
41.RBC Roosendaal517035261091310,77164358-194
46.BVC Amsterdam268202028801,18103130-27
48.SC Veendam268122333590,8774127-53
49.FC Wageningen268131837570,8472137-65
50.De Volewijckers264151039550,8699189-90
51.Helmond Sport268121838540,7993162-69
53.Alkmaar '5413461216300,883961-22

Player records


Rank Name Games Playing position First match Last match
1 Pim Doesburg687Goalkeeper1962–631986–87
2 Jan Jongbloed684Goalkeeper1959–601985–86
3 Piet Schrijvers576Goalkeeper1963–641984–85


Last updated following the 2019–20 season [11]
Rank Name Goals Games Goals per game Playing position First goal Last goal
1 Willy van der Kuijlen3115450.57Forward1964–651981–82
2 Ruud Geels2663920.68Forward1964–651983–84
3 Johan Cruijff2163090.70Forward1964–651983–84
4 Kees Kist2123720.60Forward1972–731983–84
5 Tonny van der Linden208--Forward1956–571966–67

Top scorers

Last updated following the 2019–20 season.[11]
Season Top Scorer(s) Goals Club(s)
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
1966–67 Johan Cruijff 33 Ajax
1967–68 Ove Kindvall 28 Feyenoord
1968–69 Dick van Dijk
Ove Kindvall
30 FC Twente
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
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
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
1999–2000 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
2017–18 Alireza Jahanbakhsh 21 AZ
2018–19 Luuk de Jong
Dušan Tadić
28 PSV
2019–20 Steven Berghuis
Cyriel Dessers
15 Feyenoord
Heracles Almelo

Media coverage

Country Network Details
Netherlands ESPN; NOS ESPN 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
VOOSport World
Two matches per week, since 2015
Indian subcontinent Dream11 Two–three matches per week on Fancode
Italy DAZN[16]
Albania DigitAlb / SuperSport Two matches per week and highlights
Poland Polsat Sport
Polsat Sport Extra
Polsat Sport News
2–5 matches (1–4 live) every week and highlights, since the 2002–03 season.
Turkey Tivibu Live Eredivisie matches
Russia Telekanal Futbol Live matches every week, two or three times
Balkans Sport Klub Live matches every week, two or three times
Portugal Sport TV Two or three live matches every week
Slovakia Arena Sport Two or three live matches every week
Austria, Germany, DAZN Up to three matches per week, and highlights (mostly Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord matches)
South Korea tvN Live PSV matches
United Kingdom and Ireland Premier Sports Live Eredivisie matches
United States ESPN+ Three live matches every week
Norway Viasat Fotball One match live on Sunday 11.30 CET
Lithuania Sport1 Up to two matches per week and highlights
Bulgaria Max Sport Two or three live matches every week
Sub-Saharan Africa ESPN Three live matches every week, sometimes four
Latin America ESPN Two matches every week are broadcast live, one only on ESPN Play (WatchESPN in Brazil).
Indonesia Mola TV Up to four matches per week live and on demand, from 2020 to 2021.[17]
Timor Leste
Malaysia Astro SuperSport Up to three live matches every week.
Philippines Tap DMV Up to three live matches every week.
Singapore Singtel TV Up to three live matches every week.
MENA Abu Dhabi Sports Up to three live matches every week.
Vietnam VTVCab, HTV 1990-2002, HTV broadcasting all matches.

2019-present, Up to three live matches every week.

Eredivisie teams and major UEFA and FIFA competitions

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:

Sponsorship names for seasons

  • Eredivisie (1956–1990)
  • PTT-Telecompetitie (1990–1999)
  • KPN-Telecompetitie (1999–2000)
  • KPN Eredivisie (2000–2002)
  • Holland Casino Eredivisie (2002–2005)
  • Eredivisie (2005–present)

See also


  1. "Member associations - UEFA rankings - Country coefficients –". Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  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 Media. Retrieved 30 September 2015.
  4. "Netherlands – Regional Analysis". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  5. (in Dutch)"Eredivisie – ontstaan". Vak Q. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  6. "Professionalism and European Games". TimeRime. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  7. (in Dutch)"De Watersnoodwedstrijd van Cor van der Hart". Sportgeschiedenis. Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. 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. "Netherlands 1956/57". RSSSF. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  11. Eredivisie Top Scorers - rsssf
  12. Topscorers Eredivisie 1959–1960[permanent dead link], (Dutch)
  13. Topscorers Eredivisie 1990–1991[permanent dead link], (Dutch)
  14. Topscorers Eredivisie 1991–1992[permanent dead link], (Dutch)
  15. Topscorers Eredivisie 1992–1993[permanent dead link], (Dutch)
  16. Redazione (18 July 2019). "Eurosport sbarca su Dazn: i canali disponibili dall'1 agosto". Calcio e Finanza (in Italian). Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  17. "Eredivisie - Mola TV". Retrieved 11 September 2020.