While the soccer team has won many titles in the second-tier competition in recent years, they have rarely enjoyed success when playing against the professional sides in the First Division. In 1980 however, "CLUB" as they were commonly known, did manage to avoid relegation from the Professional First Division for the first time in their history. One of the highlights of the season was a 1–1 draw with eventual Champions Seiko SA. On 10 May 1980 at the HK Government Stadium CLUB defeated Kui Tan 1–0 with an 87th minute penalty scored by John McGunnigle, meaning Kui Tan joined Urban Services in the drop that year.
In the past few years, HKFC opted not to take promotion to the First Division. In 2006, finally, the club accepted the promotion after winning the Second Division. After showing initial promise, they lost 4 league matches in a row between March and April 2007 and were relegated to the Second Division. They did however become Champions of the Second Division again in April 2010 and returned to the First Division.