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They would have to be a manager or in big business.
Even the Prime Minister (£142,000) doesn’t earn much more.
“As a footballer in the 1990s I used to say that I was like a well-paid builder because I knew some builders who had an equivalent income,” explains Smith.
You have been living the life of someone earning that kind of wage, but when that wage stops your outgoings might still be £4,000 - or £40,000 - a month.
Many of them have to really change their lifestyle.” For some players the financial pressure can be too much.
But for most players the experience of retiring from the beautiful game is wildly different to what the public might perceive.
Many former players seek new employment in the media, move into coaching or management, invest in business projects and property portfolios, or discover entirely new careers, from running hotels to working in financial services.