FRASER Wishart reckons more players are ditching full-time football in favour of playing part-time and taking on a job because they can earn more cash.
The Players Union chief believes the cutbacks both in squad numbers and the amount of money they're paying is making it a turn-off as a career for players in their mid-20s.
That's why he can see those plying their trade in the bottom half of the SPL or the First Division taking the step of going part-time and pursuing a career away from football.
Wishart, speaking yesterday at the launch of a Show Bigotry the Red Card campaign, said: "I think more players are now asking themselves if it's worthwhile being full-time.
"If you reach the age of 26 or 27 and you're settling down and married with a family, then players are looking at their careers and saying, 'Is this the best I'm going to get?'.
"I think players are quite right to earn a good part-time wage and get a decent job outside the game.
"You can probably earn more money and there's that bit of security, so when they reach 32 or 33 then at least they've got a background where they can earn a living.
"A lot of players now don't earn much in the game, they really enjoy their career then find themselves at 33 or 34 in the job market for the first time.
"I think there's a greater awareness among players to look at that aspect and there's also a greater awareness of the fact there are far fewer jobs to go to.
"When I visit the dressing rooms now as we're doing at the moment with the Players Union, you walk in and it's half-empty. It used to be full to the gunnels with 30 or 35 players but now you're talking to 16, 18.
"More and more players are signing seasonal contracts. It's August 1 until the last game of the season, so it's two or three months without wages over the summer.
"We speak to clubs but they're not signing players in the close season because if they sign them they have to pay them. That's an issue the game has to look at - I think it's wrong players are left over the summer." Wishart admitted he has sympathy for the string of players now being lost to the game simply because there is no reserve football and clubs are cutting back on squad numbers.
He said: "For young lads coming through, if you're good enough at 19 to be in the first team squad then they'll give you a chance but if you're not they won't give you that second chance to develop."