The Eredivisie (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈeːrədivizi]; "Honour Division" or "Premier Division") is the highest level of professional football in the Netherlands. The league was founded in 1956, two years after the start of professional football in the Netherlands. As of the 2019–20 season it is ranked the 9th best league in Europe by UEFA.
The Eredivisie consists of 18 clubs. Each club meets every other club twice during the season, once at home and once away. At the end of each season, the two clubs at the bottom are automatically relegated to the second level of the Dutch league system, the Eerste Divisie (First Division), while the champion and runner-up of the Eerste Divisie are automatically promoted to the Eredivisie. The club finishing third from the bottom of the bottom of the Eredivisie goes to separate promotion/relegation play-offs with eight high-placed clubs from the Eerste Divisie.
The winner of the Eredivisie claims the Dutch national championship. Ajax Amsterdam has won most titles, 26 (34 national titles). PSV Eindhoven are next with 21 (24), and Feyenoord Rotterdam follow with 10 (15). Since 1965, these three clubs have won all but three Eredivisie titles (the 1981 and 2009 titles went to AZ and FC Twente won the 2010 title). Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord are known as the "Big Three" or "Traditional Top Three" of Dutch football. They are the only clubs in their current forms to have never been relegated out of the Eredivisie since its formation. A fourth club, FC Utrecht, is the product of a 1970 merger between three of that city's clubs, one of which, VV DOS, had also never been relegated out of the Eredivisie.