A Spanish court has ordered that a former owner of third-tier Spanish football club Alaves must return nearly ?7 million (about $9 million) to the club.

The provincial court of Alava in the northern Basque region upheld a previous court ruling that Dimitri Piterman, his wife and another business partner return ?6.9 million ($9 million).

A court statement says Piterman had been found to have used club funds to pay for hotel stays, diverted money to other private businesses and to have failed to keep accounts in a legal manner.

Piterman bought the club in 2004 but rapidly ran into financial trouble and was convicted of non-payment of payroll commitments. He left in 2007, reportedly leaving the club with debts of more than ?20 million ($26 million).