BIU president Chris Furbert has rejected accusations that a loan from the union to the club was called in because he lost re-election as PHC president.

“People are saying we’re calling the loan in now because ‘Chris Furbert is no longer the president of PHC’. That’s utterly untrue, ” he told us in an interview.

The Bermuda Sun saw a copy of the letter sent to PHC, saying they would be recalling the loan on November 30. It was dated November 1 — three days before the AGM in which Mr Furbert lost the PHC presidency in a vote.

“The club was well aware of this letter before I left office for PHC,” Mr Furbert  said. “This information was given to the membership on the night of the election on November 4, so they had information about this.”

Mr Furbert said he had expected to be re-elected president on November 4, as no one had formally announced they were challenging him. 

“I understood there were some undercurrents at the club because we didn’t have a clubhouse. I found out Mr (Jonathan)Ball was going to be challenging me on the night.”

He said even prior to that, PHC’s executive have been holding talks with the BIU about their debts for more than 18 months.

But due to an obvious conflict of interest, Mr Furbert recused himself from those talks.

“I have not been involved in any of those conversations.”

In addition, Mr Furbert said it was the BIU auditors who recommended the union recall the loan. 

“The auditors are saying to the BIU that the BIU can no longer carry this debt on their books, especially in light of their current financial position. 

“[The letter stated that] unless PHC has another solution, we will be taking possession of the building on November 30th, 2013. [That was]  before I went out of office.”

According to the letter the Bermuda Sun saw, PHC owes just over $1.7m —around $100,000 more than they borrowed. 

Principle

“We never paid back any money on principle because the original interest and principle was $10,075. We never actual paid that, ” Mr Furbert said. 

“We started paying $7,000 a month interest with the understanding that sometime we’ll start paying both. Unfortunately, we were never able to get there. All of that has been reported to the (PHC) membership.

“I have decision-making powers here at the BIU but those decisions were made by the executive board and they make a general recommendation to the general council.”

Mr Furbert said the general council has been concerned about the loan for at least three years.

When Total Home went out of business at 81 Reid Street, they were in arrears to PHC for $164,000. Mr Furbert said the club also lost roughly $90,000 in rents as they building remained unoccupied and were unable to find a new tenant.  

Mr Furbert asked: “How can people not think we (PHC) would not have a problem with cash flow?” 

He was quick to add that PHC does not have a problem with other creditors, even though those rumours had been spread online.

 “To the best of my knowledge… PHC only has one creditor, and that’s the BIU. We don’t have any other creditors that I am aware of.”

Mr Furbert said a sore point for him was the misinformation about him being president of the BIU when the loan was made. 

He added: “I became president in 2006 of the BIU. When the loan talks were held in 2001, I left the room because I was first vice president of the BIU. The executive board made a decision, they took that recommendation to the general council and they general council ratified it — that’s how the loan was approved.”

He said the BIU and PHC are currently in discussions about the property on Reid Street. 

Mr Furbert added it was a bit disheartening that PHC is still without a clubhouse.

“As I’ve said to some people ‘You think I don’t want a clubhouse? I have sons; I have a daughter and I want them to play football at PHC. Unfortunately, we had some things happen to us that were beyond our control.” He said in spite of that, programmes at the club have continued to flourish. 

“PHC has continued to grow during the time we haven’t had a clubhouse. How does that happen? It happens because of the organization, not because of the president.

“ I’m not taking any credit for that. The structure that PHC and the people that are involved with PHC’s programmes — that’s what it can be attributed to.”