In the Netherlands, a playoff was introduced in season 2005-2006. It is used to determine which teams from the Eredivisie qualify for European football. The playoff system has been criticized by clubs, players and fans as the number of matches will increase. Under the original playoff format, it was possible, though thoroughly unlikely, that the runner-up would not qualify for Europe; the following year, the format was changed so that the second-place team was assured of no worse than a UEFA Cup berth. Starting in 2008–09, the format was changed yet again. The champion goes directly to the Champions League; the runner-up enters the second qualification round of the CL; the number three enters the fourth (and last) qualification round of the UEFA Europa League (EL; the new name of the UEFA Cup from 2009–10 onward) and the number four goes to the third qualification round of the EL. The only play-off will be for the clubs placed 5th through 8th. The winner of that play-off receives a ticket for the second qualification round of the EL.
Playoffs are also part of the promotion and relegation structure between the Eredivisie and the Eerste Divisie, the two highest football leagues in the Netherlands.
Famous quotes containing the word netherlands:
“Greece is a sort of American vassal; the Netherlands is the country of American bases that grow like tulip bulbs; Cuba is the main sugar plantation of the American monopolies; Turkey is prepared to kow-tow before any United States pro-consul and Canada is the boring second fiddle in the American symphony.”
—Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko (19091989)