I understand the mechanics of transfer windows. I've read the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players. I understand how the various federations set their transfer windows. And I understand what teams and players can and can't do during transfer windows. Here's what I don't understand. Why are there transfer windows? Who do they benefit, and how? From what I can tell, after the Bosman ruling came down and reserve clauses were no longer available, UEFA and FIFA got together to try to cut down on player movement some other way--and this is what they came up with. And obviously it must be protecting someone's financial interest. But whose? And from what? Or, in other words, what would really change if FIFA dropped Article 6 and just let national leagues set a cutoff date after which newly registered players wouldn't be eligible to play in that league, which--as I understand it--is how the system worked until 2002?