The Dutch football league consists of two fully professional leagues (Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie) one semi-professional level (Topklasse) and seven levels of amateur football leagues, the highest of which is called Hoofdklasse. All the leagues are connected by a promotion and relegation system, but in order to be promoted to the Eerste Divisie a club must meet certain financial conditions and stadium demands.
Professional football was introduced in 1954, with the establishment of the Dutch Professional Football Association (Nederlandse Beroeps Voetbalbond or NBVB).
The Eredivisie (Honorary Division) is the highest football league in the Netherlands and comprises 18 clubs. The league was founded in 1956, two years after the start of professional football in Holland. The most championships have been won by AFC Ajax followed by PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord.
The second tier is known as the Eerste Divisie (First Division) and comprises 18 clubs. The league was established in 1956 and is currently known as the Jupiler League. The third tier is known as Topklasse and has Saturday and Sunday sections. These are fed by the 6 sections of the fourth tier which is known as the Hoofdklasse.
The KNVB Beker is a knock-out cup competition organised by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) since 1899. It was based on the format of the English FA Cup. Outside of the Netherlands, it is often referred to as the Dutch Cup.
The tournament consists of all teams from the top three tiers and semi-finalists from the regional amateur cup competitions. Ajax have been the most successful club in the KNVB Beker followed by Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven.
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