Belgian Second Division
|Number of teams||17 (2015–16)|
|Level on pyramid||2|
|Promotion to||Belgian Pro League|
|Relegation to||Belgian Third Division|
|Domestic cup(s)||Belgian Cup|
|International cup(s)||Europa League|
|2015–16 Belgian Second Division|
The Belgian Second Division (known as the Proximus League for sponsorship reasons) is the second-highest division in the Belgian football league system after the Belgian Pro League. It was created by the Royal Belgian Football Association in 1909. Between 2008 and 2010 it was named EXQI League after a television channel owned by the league main sponsor, broadcaster Euro1080. At the end of the 2009/2010 season, Euro1080 showed no more interest in the league, due to financial terms. However, in 2012, the league found a new sponsor with Belgacom, renaming the league to the Belgacom League.
The second division was created in 1909 and was known as the Promotion at the time. From 1923 on there were two leagues in that division (called Promotion A and Promotion B). In 1926, the system changed, with only one league of 14 clubs at the second-highest level now called Division I. At the end of the 1930-31 season, Division I was split into two leagues again (of 14 clubs each). Each year, the bottom two teams of each league were relegated to Division II and the top two clubs were promoted to the Premier Division. In 1952, the division was renamed to Division II with 16 teams (one league). The first two clubs qualified for the first division. In 1974, play-offs were introduced to qualify a second team to the top level. Finally, in 1994, the number of clubs was increased to 18 clubs. A win earns three points since the 1993-94 season. In the seasons 2008-09 and 2009–10, the second division was played between 19 teams following the Namur - Geel case (both teams claiming their rights to access the second division). In June 2015, reforms in top three divisions were approved by the Belgian FA, with the second tier to be named First Division B starting in 2016.
Competition format and naming
|This section does not cite any references (sources). (November 2014)|
The season comprises the regular season (18 teams, 34 matchdays) and the play-offs. The regular season is a double round-robin tournament played between August and May, with an interruption of 3 weeks in the winter. Beside the overall classification of teams, 3 other rankings are computed, one for each of three periods. The first period consist of the first 10 matchdays, the second of the next 12 matchdays and the third of the final 12 matchdays. At the beginning of each period, all teams start with a blank record for the next period ranking. The winner of the overall regular season is promoted to the first division. The teams with the best record in each of the 3 periods qualify for the play-offs, together with the 15th-placed team in the first division. If one or several periods are won by the regular season champion or if another team wins several periods, the best-placed teams in the overall ranking qualify for the play-offs, so that it is played between 4 teams. The play-offs are a double round-robin, with the winner earning a place in the first division.
The standings, for both the regular season and the 3 periods, are determined by the following criteria, in order:
- number of points
- number of wins
- a play-off at a neutral venue (with extra time and penalty shootout if necessary)
The standings during the play-offs are determined following the same criteria except that the goal-average is not taken into account. A team cannot play in the first division unless it has a professional license. If it does not have its license, it is replaced if possible, by the next highest team in the overall regular season ranking. For the automatic promotion spot (as opposed to the play-offs) the team must have finished in the top three clubs. When no team meets those conditions, the number of teams in the first division decreases.
The two lowest-placed teams relegate to the third division (which is divided into 2 leagues of 18 clubs) and are replaced by the two champions of that division. Furthermore, the 16th-placed team in the second division play the third division play-off with 6 teams from the third division, entering on the second round. The winner of this play-off remains or promotes to the second division.
As part of changes in the league system to be implemented in the 2016–17 season, the competition format is almost the same, but the 2015–16 transitional season will have the champions promoted and 9 teams relegated to the third division, while no team will be promoted from the third division. This change is being contested in a Belgian court by FCO Beerschot Wilrijk, which is hoping for one of two promotions but the idea was deemed unlikely.
- 1905-1926: Promotion
- 1926-1952: Division I
- 1952-2008: Division II
- 2008-2010: EXQI League
- 2010-2012: Division II
- 2012–Present: Belgacom League
Members for 2015-16
The 17 participating clubs for the 2015-16 season are the following:
|Club||Municipality||Province||Finishing position last season|
|R. Antwerp F.C.||Antwerp||Antwerp||10th|
|Cercle Brugge K.S.V.||Bruges||West Flanders||15th of first division|
|K.V.V. Coxyde||Koksijde||West Flanders||1st of Belgian Third Division A|
|K.F.C. Dessel Sport||Dessel||Antwerp||15th|
|K.M.S.K. Deinze||Deinze||East Flanders||2nd of Belgian Third Division|
|AS Verbroedering Geel||Geel||Antwerp||13th|
|Lierse S.K||Lier||Antwerp||16th of first division|
|K. Patro Eisden Maasmechelen||Maasmechelen||Limburg||16th|
|K.S.V. Roeselare||Roeselare||West Flanders||11th|
|F.C. Tubize||Tubize||Walloon Brabant||8th|
|Royale Union Saint-Gilloise||Saint-Gilles||Brussels||3rd of Belgian Third Division B|
|R. White Star Bruxelles||Woluwe-Saint-Lambert||Brussels||12th|
Last 5 winners:
|2010-11||OH Leuven||Lommel United||Mons|
|2014-15||Sint-Truiden||Lommel United||OH Leuven|
- Second Division results, fixtures and table at Soccerway
- RSSSF archive - Second division tables from 1910 to 2002
- Tweedeklasse.be - All info about the Belgian 2nd division (Dutch)
- "La réforme du championnat approuvée: une grande lessive se prépare en D2 (INFOGRAPHIE)" (in French). dh.be. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.