Football has been played in the Netherlands long before Eredivisie was established. Initially only at amateur level and without any compensation to players. You were simply excluded as a player if compensation was paid. The title as Holland’s best team was decided between a few teams by knockout.
During the 1950s, the demands for a professional football league increased when it was seen that many national abilities instead disappeared abroad to well-paid replacements. In 1953, a match was played between France and the Netherlands in favor of the great floods. Only then did they see the potential in the Dutch players. The idea was born to create a professional league. The time was ripe and both the audience and the organizations behind it welcomed the new league.
Initially, there were two different leagues in the Netherlands, from two different organizations, KNVB and NBVB. These leagues played 11 rounds each and then merged. During this period, football activities were relatively difficult as a league did not want to accept the national rules. There were unofficial meetings between the teams. Clearly, both leagues understood that a continuation in this way was not realistic.
In 1956, the Eredivisie was formed where the 18 best clubs played for the title of Dutch champion. This is what the game form and set look like even today. Ajax was the first team in this new form of play to take home the title of Dutch champions.
Game format in Eredivisie
The game format in this league is traditional in terms of how to meet and how points are awarded. All 18 clubs meet twice each. A home match and an away match. This results in 34 meetings between the teams. Match win gives three points, a draw gives one point and loss gives zero points.
The winner of the series will be the Dutch champions but are also ready for the Champions League qualifiers.
A second place in the table means that you are ready for the second qualifying part of the Champions League.
Teams in position three or four are ready for the Europa League third qualifying round.
Position four to eight play against each other and the two winners play in a knockout match, the winner is ready for the Europa League second qualifying round.
Relegations in the Eredivisie
The teams that take positions 17 and 18 are guaranteed a relegation to the lower division called Eerste Divisie which is the second highest division. They change places with teams in place one and two in the Eerste Divisie.
Teams in place 16 have an additional chance to stay by playing a qualifying game against seven other teams in the Eerste Divisie. The team that ultimately stands as the winner in this playoffs is the team that takes the last place in the Eredivisie. Such a play-off is always exciting and also an interesting form of play where teams that have good opportunities get to meet each other and a team from the current top league.
Successful teams in the Eredivisie
During the years that the league has been played, the title has been awarded to many teams. However, there are some teams that really stand out in the statistics for success.
- Ajax has won the most titles over the years and the statistics show 34 victories and 23 times in second place.
- PSV Eindhoven is a strong runner-up with 24 victories and 14 places in second place.
- Feyenoord has 15 victories and 21 times in second place in the league statistics.
- HVV Den Haag has taken 10 victories and placed in second place only once.
Further down the list, we find no less than 25 other teams that have single-digit placements. A total of 29 clubs that have taken home the title. This indicates a great variety in this league where teams have actually been replaced over the years and many of the clubs have had to take home the honorable title.