Danny Grainger has called on the Tynecastle decision-makers to keep Hearts’ cup final team together this summer.
The Gorgie side has faced financial peril this term with players’ salaries paid late on four occasions since October last year.
The club has admitted a need to downsize the first team squad to save cash, but left back Grainger, who joined on a free transfer from St Johnstone last summer, is eager that the majority of Sunday’s Hampden heroes are allowed to continue on at Hearts.
Current stars who are out of contract in the summer include Craig Beattie, Rudi Skacel, Ian Black and Stephen Elliott.
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, Grainger said: “It would be massive if we can keep this squad together. We’ve proved this season that we can beat anybody.
“We’ve beaten Rangers and Celtic so there’s no reason we can’t go on and compete at the top end of the table next year.
“The character in the team is top-notch. That is summed up by the team that played and won on Sunday against Celtic. They’re champions for a reason.
“If we can get a few players signed on new contracts then it will be great.”
The 25-year-old Englishman said he understands that the club’s big spending ways cannot continue but added that keeping a core of its best players in a dressing room united by this season’s problems, could make for a special year to come in 2012/13.
Grainger said: “Things that went on this season have hampered our league position. A lot of teams in our position wouldn’t even still be able to challenge for Europe so that’s down to the boys in the dressing-room that we are still where we are.”