Netherlands - List of Second and Third Division Champions

A nationwide second class was introduced in the 1890/91 season (also the first season an official first class championship was held) and existed until 1896 (from the 1896/97 season on, four regional districts were formed and the number of second class competitions rose to six; by the end of the amateur era there were twelve).

Only after sixty years, in 1956/57, a unified national league, called "eredivisie", was formed again, two years after professionalism had been introduced in the Netherlands. Originally two levels of professional football existed below the eredivisie, the "eerste divisie" (which literally translates as "first division") and "tweede divisie" (second division). Both were sometimes played in one, sometimes in two groups.

At the end of the 1970/71 season, the second division was abolished after it had been found that too many teams had been allowed to turn professional in the fifties. Over the years, several had voluntarily returned to the amateur leagues, some had been relegated, and on two occasions teams had been promoted as amateur champions to the professional section (Xerxes and Velox). In 1970/71 many of the remaining small clubs, which were deemed incapable of sustaining in professional football, were forced to return to the amateurs and only two divisions (eredivisie and eerste divisie) of professional football remained, both played in one group. Since then, the number of professional teams has varied from 34 to 41, teams occasionally going bust or (from the eighties) being admitted to professional football when meeting certain criteria (R.B.C., R.K.C., Emmen, T.O.P. and V.C. Vlissingen - the last team folding after two unsuccessful seasons).

In 1972/73 a special promotion regulation was introduced: teams that had been the best in an (usually) eight game "period" were allowed to fight for (usually) one promotion place in an end-of-the-season playoff called "nacompetitie".

Below all the group winners of the Eerste and Tweede Divisie since 1956/57 are listed. From 1972/73 onwards, winners of the nacompetitie (obtaining promotion) are listed as well.

Tweede Klasse Champions 1890-1896

1890/91 Victoria (Rotterdam)
1891/92 Go Ahead (Wageningen)
1892/93 Sparta (Rotterdam)
1893/94 Rapiditas (Rotterdam) 
1894/95 Victoria (Rotterdam)
1895/96 H.B.S. (Den Haag)

Eerste Divisie Champions

1956/57 A.D.O. and Blauw Wit
1957/58 Willem II and S.H.S.
1958/59 Volendam and Sittardia
1959/60 G.V.A.V. and Alkmaar
1960/61 Volendam and Blauw Wit
1961/62 Heracles and Fortuna Vlaardingen                                       [1]
1962/63 D.W.S.
1963/64 Sittardia
1964/65 Willem II
1965/66 Sittardia
1966/67 Volendam
1967/68 Holland Sport
1968/69 S.V.V.
1969/70 Volendam                        
1970/71 F.C. Den Bosch                  Nacompetitie Winners
1971/72 Haarlem                              
1972/73 Roda J.C.                       De Graafschap
1973/74 Excelsior                       Wageningen
1974/75 N.E.C.                          Eindhoven
1975/76 Haarlem                         F.C. V.V.V.
1976/77 Vitesse                         Volendam
1977/78 P.E.C. Zwolle                   M.V.V.
1978/79 Excelsior                       Willem II
1979/80 F.C. Groningen                  Wageningen
1980/81 Haarlem                         De Graafschap
1981/82 Helmond Sport                   Excelsior
1982/83 D.S. '79                        F.C. Den Bosch
1983/84 M.V.V.                          N.A.C.
1984/85 Heracles                        N.E.C.
1985/86 F.C. Den Haag                   Veendam
1986/87 Volendam                        D.S. '79
1987/88 R.K.C.                          M.V.V.
1988/89 Vitesse                         N.E.C.
1989/90 S.V.V.                          Heerenveen
1990/91 De Graafschap                   V.V.V.
1991/92 Cambuur Leeuwarden              B.V.V. Den Bosch                       [2]
1992/93 V.V.V.                          Heerenveen and N.A.C.                  [3]
1993/94 Dordrecht '90                   N.E.C. and R.K.C.                      [3]
1994/95 Fortuna Sittard                 De Graafschap and Go Ahead Eagles      [3]
1995/96 A.Z.                            Volendam and N.E.C.                    [3]
1996/97 M.V.V.                          R.K.C. and N.E.C.                      [3]
1997/98 A.Z.                            R.K.C. and Cambuur Leeuwarden          [3]
1998/99 F.C. Den Bosch                  R.K.C. and Sparta                      [3]
1999/00 N.A.C.                          F.C. Groningen and R.B.C. Roosendaal   [3]
2000/01 F.C. Den Bosch                  Fortuna Sittard and Sparta             [3]
2001/02 F.C. Zwolle                     R.B.C. Roosendaal and Excelsior        [3]
2002/03 A.D.O. Den Haag                 F.C. Zwolle and Volendam               [3]
2003/04 F.C. Den Bosch                  Vitesse and De Graafschap              [3]
2004/05 Heracles Almelo                 R.B.C. Roosendaal and Sparta Rotterdam [3]
2005/06 Excelsior                       N.A.C. Breda and Willem II             [3]
2006/07 De Graafschap                   Excelsior and V.V.V.-Venlo             [3]
2007/08 F.C. Volendam                   De Graafschap and A.D.O. Den Haag      [3]
2008/09 V.V.V.-Venlo                    Roda J.C. and R.K.C. Waalwijk           [3]
2009/10 De Graafschap                   Willem II and Excelsior                [3]
2010/11 R.K.C. Waalwijk                  Excelsior and V.V.V.-Venlo             [3]
2011/12 F.C. Zwolle                     V.V.V.-Venlo and Willem II             [3]
2012/13 S.C. Cambuur (Leeuwarden)       Roda J.C. and Go Ahead Eagles          [3]
2013/14 Willem II                       F.C. Dordrecht and Excelsior           [3]
2014/15 N.E.C.                          Roda J.C. and De Graafschap            [3]
2015/16 Sparta Rotterdam                Willem II and Go Ahead Eagles          [3]
2016/17 V.V.V.-Venlo                    Roda J.C. and N.A.C. Breda             [3]
2017/18 Jong Ajax (Fortuna Sittard) [!] Emmen and De Graafschap
2018/19 F.C. Twente                     R.K.C. Waalwijk and Sparta Rotterdam 
2019/20   season abandoned
2020/21 S.C. Cambuur (Leeuwarden)       N.E.C.  
2021/22 Emmen                           Excelsior
2022/23 Heracles Almelo                 Almere City

[1] Heracles and Fortuna Vlaardingen played a decisive match for promotion, won by 
    Heracles.  Fortuna remained in the eerste divisie and are therefore not counted 
    as "Eerste Divisie" Champions in the following list.  In the years before, no
    matches between group winners were played to decide championship or promotion.
[2] From 1991/92 on, and until 2005/06, the nacompetitie was played in two groups.
    In 1991/92, the second group was won by Go Ahead Eagles who lost the promotion
    playoff against B.V.V. Den Bosch.  (They later obtained promotion by beating
    eredivisie side F.C. Den Haag.)
[3] From 1992/93 on, eredivisie sides finishing just above the automatic relegation
    spot(s) had to fight for their survival in a nacompetitie group.  Since 2006/07,
    the group system was replaced by a knock-out format.  Teams given in italics 
    were eredivisie sides who managed to retain their place in the nacompetitie.
[!] Jong Ajax won the league but were ineligible for promotion, so Fortuna Sittard
    were promoted automatically as runners-up.

List of Eerste Divisie Champions (since 1956) (71)

 6 F.C. Volendam [includes Volendam]

 4 F.C. Den Bosch
 4 Heracles Almelo [includes Heracles (Almelo)]

 3 A.D.O. Den Haag [includes A.D.O. (Den Haag) and F.C. Den Haag]
 3 A.Z. (Alkmaar) [includes Alkmaar]
 3 S.C. Cambuur (Leeuwarden) [includes Cambuur Leeuwarden]
 3 Excelsior (Rotterdam)
 3 De Graafschap (Doetinchem)
 3 Haarlem
 3 Sittardia (Sittard)
 3 V.V.V.-Venlo [includes V.V.V. (Venlo)]
 3 Willem II (Tilburg)
 3 F.C. Zwolle [includes P.E.C. Zwolle]

 2 Blauw Wit (Amsterdam)
 2 F.C. Groningen (includes G.V.A.V. (Groningen)]
 2 Holland Sport (Den Haag) [includes S.H.S. (Den Haag)]
 2 M.V.V. (Maastricht)
 2 N.E.C. (Nijmegen)
 2 R.K.C. Waalwijk [includes R.K.C. (Waalwijk)]
 2 S.V.V. (Schiedam)
 2 Vitesse (Arnhem)

 1 Dordrecht '90           [**]
 1 D.S. '79 (Dordrecht)
 1 D.W.S. (Amsterdam)
 1 Emmen
 1 Fortuna Sittard
 1 Helmond Sport
 1 Jong Ajax (Amsterdam)
 1 N.A.C. (Breda)
 1 Roda J.C. (Kerkrade)
 1 Sparta Rotterdam
 1 F.C. Twente (Enschede)

 [**] Technically Dordrecht '90 should be considered the successor of
      S.V.V., as they took over their (eredivisie) license when S.V.V.
      and D.S. '79 merged.  However, they play at the former D.S. '79
      ground.  They are therefore listed as an independent entity.

List of Nacompetitie Winners (77)

 7 Excelsior (Rotterdam)       [2 times as first level team]
 7 De Graafschap (Doetinchem)  [1 time as first level team]

 6 N.E.C. (Nijmegen)            [2 times as first level team]
 6 R.K.C. Waalwijk              [4 times as first level team] [includes R.K.C. (Waalwijk)]

 5 V.V.V.-Venlo                [2 times as first level team] [includes (F.C.) V.V.V. (Venlo)]
 5 Willem II (Tilburg)         [3 times as first level team]

 4 N.A.C. Breda                [1 time as first level team]
 4 Roda J.C. (Kerkrade)        [3 times as first level team]
 4 Sparta Rotterdam            [2 times as first level team]

 3 Go Ahead Eagles (Deventer)  [1 time as first level team]
 3 R.B.C. Roosendaal           [1 time as first level team]
 3 Volendam                    [1 time as first level team]

 2 F.C. Den Bosch [includes B.V.V. Den Bosch]
 2 Heerenveen
 2 M.V.V. (Maastricht)
 2 Wageningen

 1 A.D.O. Den Haag
 1 Almere City
 1 Cambuur Leeuwarden
 1 F.C. Dordrecht
 1 D.S. '79 (Dordrecht)
 1 Eindhoven
 1 Emmen
 1 Fortuna Sittard             [as first level team]
 1 F.C. Groningen
 1 Veendam
 1 Vitesse (Arnhem)            [as first level team]
 1 F.C. Zwolle                 [as first level team]

Tweede Divisie Champions

1956/57 Leeuwarden and R.B.C.
1957/58 Z.F.C. and Heracles
1958/59 't Gooi and Go Ahead
1959/60 E.D.O. and Be Quick
1960/61 Haarlem
1961/62 Velox
1962/63 V.S.V. and Haarlem                   [*]
1963/64 N.E.C. and Alkmaar                   [**]
1964/65 S.C. Cambuur and D.F.C.              [***]
1965/66 Vitesse and F.C. Den Bosch
1966/67 Haarlem
1967/68 Wageningen
1968/69 De Graafschap
1969/70 Heerenveen
1970/71 De Volewijckers

  [*] Haarlem lost the promotion match against V.S.V. and missed out on
      promotion in an ensuing playoff.  They are therefore not listed as
      a "Tweede Divisie" Champion below.
 [**] Alkmaar lost the promotion match against N.E.C.  They later gained
      promotion in a playoff nevertheless, but are not listed as a "Tweede
      Divisie" Champion below.
[***] D.F.C. lost the promotion match against S.C. Cambuur and missed out
      on promotion.  They are not listed as a "Tweede Divisie" Champion

In all other seasons featuring two groups, no matches were played for
promotion or championship between the two winners.

List of Tweede Divisie Champions (1956-1971) (20)

 2 S.C. Cambuur (Leeuwarden) [includes Leeuwarden]
 2 Haarlem

 1 Be Quick (Groningen)
 1 F.C. Den Bosch
 1 E.D.O. (Haarlem)
 1 Go Ahead (Deventer)
 1 't Gooi (Hilversum)
 1 De Graafschap (Doetinchem)
 1 Heerenveen
 1 Heracles (Almelo)
 1 N.E.C. (Nijmegen)
 1 R.B.C. (Roosendaal)
 1 Velox (Utrecht)
 1 Vitesse (Arnhem)
 1 De Volewijckers (Amsterdam)
 1 V.S.V. (Velsen)
 1 Wageningen
 1 Z.F.C. (Zaandam)

Topklasse Champions

2010/11 IJsselmeervogels (Spakenburg) and F.C. Oss
2011/12 Achilles'29 (Groesbeek) and Spakenburg
2012/13 Katwijk and Achilles'29 (Groesbeek)
2013/14 Spakenburg and A.F.C. (Amsterdam)
2014/15 F.C. Lienden and Kozakken Boys (Werkendam)
2015/16 Excelsior Maassluis and F.C. Lienden

Tweede Divisie Champions (since reintroduction 2016)

2016/17 Jong A.Z. (Alkmaar)
2017/18 Katwijk
2018/19 A.F.C. (Amsterdam)
2019/20   season abandoned
2020/21   season abandoned
2021/22 Katwijk
2022/23 Katwijk

About this document

Prepared and maintained by Karel Stokkermans for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation

Author: Karel Stokkermans
Last updated: 8 Oct 2023

(C) Copyright Karel Stokkermans and RSSSF 1995/2023
You are free to copy this document in whole or part provided that proper acknowledgement is given to the author. All rights reserved.