Neftchi Baku PFK was founded in 1937. During the years of 1937–1967, it was known as Neftyanik and it was renamed Neftchi in 1968.
Neftchi played three spells in the Soviet Top League, in 1949–1950, 1960–1972, and 1977–1988, for a total of 28 years in the top division of Soviet football. The club appeared in the Soviet First League, the second-highest division, from 1946–1948, 1951–1959, 1973–1976, and 1989–1991, with its top finish in 1976 as the runner-up. Neftchi's top scorer in this early era was Azerbaijani footballing legend Alakbar Mammadov, who also played for Dynamo Moscow; Mamedov netted 51 goals in league play during the 1950s and 1960s for the club, despite the prime of his career came in Moscow.
World famous referee Tofiq Bahramov was originally also played for Neftchi but a serious leg injury prevented him from continuing his playing career and he became a referee. He became the first referee to have a stadium and statue named after him.
Neftchi went on to dominate Azerbaijani club football throughout the 1990s. In strong contrast to the Azerbaijan national team's defensive and often criticized style of play at the time, Neftchi achieved success through strict adherence to crowd-pleasing, offensive football. The club became the first Azerbaijani football club ever to win eight domestic titles and five cups.
In the 2011–12 season, Boyukagha Hajiyev guided Neftchi to another domestic success as club become champions for seventh time in their history. In November 2011, Neftchi celebrated its 1000th victory in official games and 1000th goal, which is scored by Araz Abdullayev.
Recent years and European breakthrough (2012–present)
Since the club's foundation, Neftchi have had four main crests, though all underwent minor variations. In 1949, Neftchi adopted as their first crest the image of an oil platform with Russian n letter, which obviously contributed to the Oil Workers nickname, and remained for the next 27 years.
In 1977, Neftchi's crest was changed again as a ball and sunrise background elements added, which was to endure for the next two decades. The club's crest was changed again in 1997 as part of another attempt to modernise and to capitalise on new marketing opportunities. This was the first club badge without oil platform, as it was replaced by the national seal of the Baku. With new ownership, and the club's centenary approaching, combined with demands from fans for the club's traditional badge to be restored, it was decided that the crest should be changed again in 2004. The new crest was officially adopted for the start of the 2004–05 season and marks a return to the older design of the oil platform. As with previous crests, this one has appeared in traditional black and white colours. During the 2010s, the club added golden star above its badge.
Neftchi's traditional kit was composed of black shirts, white shorts and socks of the same color. Although through the years these two have gone from alternating between white and black stripes. The club's kits are manufactured by Adidas and sponsored by SOCAR since 2004, a multinational oil and gas corporation from Baku.
Neftchi's away strip has often been all-black, while third kit is all-red. In recent seasons, the third kit has usually been the previous season's away kit.
Neftchi Baku is one of the most supported club in Azerbaijan, with supporters organized in many fan clubs around the world, including United States, Turkey, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, and any other country with a sizeable Azerbaijani community.
The game between Neftchi and Khazar Lankaran is one of the biggest clashes in Azerbaijan. The relationship between the two clubs has always been known for its great animosity, as the classic opposes two geographic regions – with Neftchi and Khazar Lankaran representing the north and south of Azerbaijan, respectively.
Azerbaijani teams are limited to nine players without Azerbaijani citizenship. The squad list includes only the principal nationality of each player; several non-European players on the squad have dual citizenship with an EU country.
Lists of the players with the most caps and top goalscorers for the club, as of 7 September 2013 (players in bold signifies current Neftchi player). Samir Alakbarov is the club's all-time top scorer with 138 goals, including 12 goals in the Azerbaijan Cup.
Anatoliy Banishevskiy is one of the most goalscoring and capped players for the club. He voted as the Azerbaijan's most outstanding player over the past 50 years.
Neftchi has had numerous presidents over the course of its history, some of whom have been owners of the club while others have been honorary presidents. In 1988, Neftchi had registered as a professional football club and club since then had 6 presidents.