Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists there was “no shame” for his players in losing to the current Celtic team as he lamented the break-up of his squad.
The Dons ran Premiership champions Celtic close before losing 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden.
But midfielders Ryan Jack and Peter Pawlett, winger Niall McGinn and defender Ash Taylor are poised to exit.
“I just wish I could keep them all,” said McInnes. “There’s no shame in finishing second to this Celtic team.”
McInnes pointed out the massive gap in resources his club and the one Brendan Rodgers has led to an unbeaten domestic treble.
“My weekly budget for my whole squad will equate to one of their player’s salaries,” said the manager, whose side also finished runners-up in the Premiership and lost to Celtic in the League Cup final.
“We are working at roughly £42,000 a week for our whole squad and we’ve spent 200 grand putting this team together.
“We rinse everything out of them and their application is second to none.”
McInnes is himself understood to be among the candidates being considered by Sunderland as a replacement for his departed fellow Scotsman, David Moyes,
However, as he had done ahead of the final, he refused to say whether the club relegated from England’s Premier League would interest him.
“This isn’t the time to speak about anybody’s future,” said the manager. “Today was all about trying to win a trophy for Aberdeen.
“I love my job here and I’ve said that time and again.
“I’m just concentrating from tomorrow on bringing good players into the club.”
Pawlett, who did not play at Hampden, has already signed a pre-contract agreement with MK Dons, while Jack has announced he is leaving at the end of his current contract.
Northern Ireland international McGinn and Taylor are also out of contract this summer.
McInnes says he is disappointed to be losing any of his squad but hopes that new faces might re-invigorate his side.
“We’ll get good players in to help the remaining players and we’ll go again,” added the Dons manager.
“It’s been a fantastic season. It could have been so much more special by winning the cup, but fantastic none the less.”