The Faroe Islands Premier League, the top division of football in the Faroe Islands, was founded in 1942. It is organised by the Faroe Islands Football Association. The league is now called Effodeildin, from February 2009 to December 2011 was known as Vodafonedeildin and Formuladeildin from 2005 to 2008 for sponsorship reasons. The league will be called Effodeildin until 2017.
It currently has 10 participating clubs. At the end of each season, two teams are relegated and two promoted from what is now the First Division (1. deild).
The league was founded in 1942, although clubs did not take part in European competition until 1992. From 1942 to 1975 it was called Meistaradeildin (Champions' Division). Four clubs participated in the first season: KÍ Klaksvík (est. 1904), TB Tvøroyri (est. 1892), B36 Tórshavn (est. 1936) and HB Tórshavn (est. 1904). The first champions were KÍ Klaksvík. A Second Division was founded in 1943, but there was no relegation or promotion system at that time. The league was suspended in 1944 due to the friendly occupation of the Faroe Islands by the British army. The league resumed a year later and KÍ Klaksvík won the league. Other teams to join in the 1940s were MB Miðvágur, SÍ Sørvágur and VB Vágur. All 3 clubs came and went; SÍ Sørvágur finished runners-up in 1945 and won the league title in 1947; this turned out to be the only time in SÍ Sørvágur's history when they played in the top division. In 1952 VB Vágur joined the league again, but they only played two seasons and finished bottom of the table both times. They rejoined again in 1956 and did better than previously. By 1970, KÍ Klaksvík were the most successful club in the Faroe Islands, with 14 titles. The number of teams rose to six in 1971, when ÍF Fuglafjørður entered the league, and 7 in 1976 when NSÍ Runavík joined.
Changes were made in 1976 and the league was renamed '1. deild' (First Division). Promotion and relegation were also introduced: at the end of the 1976 season one team would be relegated to and one team promoted from the newly named 2. deild. NSÍ were the first to be relegated, finishing the season without winning any of their 12 matches. Fram Tórshavn were the first team to be promoted, though their time in the top flight was short-lived and they were relegated after one season. The new system and the larger league gave more clubs a chance to play in the top division. In 1979 the Faroe Islands Football Association was founded and they took control of the football league; this brought more changes and the number of clubs in the 1. deild was increased to eight. In 1987 there was no relegation from the 1. deild, as it was to be expanded to ten clubs; from the 1988 season onwards, two clubs would be relegated and two promoted.
Since 1992, teams from the Faroe Islands have been invited by UEFA to take part in European competitions. In 1991, KÍ Klaksvík entered the Champions League as league champions and B36 Tórshavn played in the Cup Winners Cup as Cup winners. KÍ lost both matches against Latvian side Skonto Riga, 3-1 and 3-0. B36 went close against Avenir Beggen, with a 1-1 draw and a 0-1 loss in the away leg, losing 2-1 on aggreagate in the Qualifying round. In the 1990s a relegation play-off was introduced, in which the ninth placed team played the second placed team from 2. deild; but this was later scrapped. Since 1995, 3 points have been awarded for a win, instead of 2 points as before. In 2003 HB Tórshavn won the league and equalled KÍ Klaksvík's record of 17 titles; a year later HB bettered that and won the title for the 18th time. In 2004 1. deild was renamed Formuladeildin for sponsorship reasons. 2. deild adopted the name of 1. deild, the 3rd and 4th tier were named 2. deild and 3. deild. Then 5 years later in 2009, a 3 year deal was agreed with Vodafone and the name was changed again to Vodafonedeildin. In February 2012 the name was changed to Effodeildin, a 3 year deal was agreed with the Faroese petrol company Effo, which was previously called Statoil and Esso. In 14 February 2014, FSF renewed the contract with Effo, and the league will be called Effodeildin until 2017. A new 4 year deal for the television rights was also agreed, the Football Association sold the rights for a record 64 million DKK, to the sports rights agency Kentaro. Previously, the rights were with Sportfive, which paid around 11 million DKK.