Amateur and professional football used to be separate worlds in the Netherlands until the 2016-17 season, when a mandatory promotion and relegation system was introduced. The chance of earning a transfer to a higher division or the risk of relegation gives teams a bigger incentive to try and perform better. This will benefit the quality and future of Dutch football.
Plans for a major rearrangement of the national league structure were approved by a KNVB Assembly meeting in December 2014. At the top of the new pyramid is the Eredivisie, followed by the First Division, a new Second Division (Tweede divisie), two amateur Third Divisions (formerly Topklasse) and four amateur Hoofdklasse leagues. In theory, all the clubs at all levels of this pyramid can make it to the very top.