The Eredivisie (; English: Honorary Division) is the highest football league in the Netherlands. The league was founded in 1956, two years after the start of professional football in the Netherlands. It is currently ranked the seventh best league in Europe by UEFA.
The top division consists of 18 clubs. Each club faces every other club twice during the season, once at home and once away. At the end of each season, the bottom club is automatically relegated to the second level of the Dutch league system, the Eerste Divisie (First Division), with the champion of the Eerste Divisie 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. AFC Ajax have won the most titles, 23 (31 national titles). PSV Eindhoven are next with 18 (21), and Feyenoord follow with 9 (14). 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).
From 1990 to 1999, the official name of the league was PTT Telecompetitie (after the sponsor, PTT Telecom), which was changed to KPN Telecompetitie 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 is not attached to the league. On August 8 2012 it was made public that the American-based Australian tycoon Rupert Murdoch had secured the rights to the Eredivisie for 12 years for 1-billion Euro, beginning in the 2013/14 season. This means that all Eredivisie clubs will earn 60-million Euro in the first year and thereafter between 80- and 100-million Euro per year.
Read more about Eredivisie: Current Teams (2012–13), National Champions, Attendance, All-time Ranking (since The Introduction of The Eredivisie in 1956), UEFA Ranking, Top Scorers, Foreign Players Who Have Played in Eredivisie, Eredivisie Teams and Major UEFA and FIFA Competitions