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|Number of teams||20|
|Levels on pyramid||Level 2|
|Domestic cup(s)||KNVB Cup|
|Current champions||De Graafschap (2009-10)|
|Most successful club||FC Haarlem (3 times)|
The Eerste Divisie (English: First Division) is the second-highest division 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 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 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 (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 Eredivisie for 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 an 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 2009/2010 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 2010/2011 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 Wageningen and VCV Zeeland in 1992, and more recently HFC Haarlem, who went bankrupt on January 2010. 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.