TOMORROW is the last day of the utterly absurd nonsense that is the transfer window. It really beggars belief that this exercise in numptiness is allowed to continue, and all it does is prove that football, like society itself, is run for the rich by the rich.

The arrival of the compulsory FIFA transfer windows in season 2002-2003 was seen by most people as a good thing because it meant the big clubs with money could no longer prey off wee clubs without money throughout the season.

It was brought in after negotiations between FIFA and the European Commission following the Bosman case in the 1990s. FIFA and UEFA learned that they were not above EU law, and the two governing bodies reeled after the European Court of Justice ruled in Bosman’s favour and later added another ruling that freedom of movement for workers meant exactly that, and footballers were no different from any other workers in that regard.

Seeing the collapse of the entire lucrative transfer system looming, FIFA caved in to the EC, which had begun to suggest that the whole system was illegal. A compromise was reached and the transfer window – aka registration period – that had been used experimentally in Italy’s Serie A was introduced at first in Europe and then across the world.

It is worth recalling the words in 2002 of the then EC Competition Commissioner Mario Monti: “The new rules find a balance between the players’ fundamental right to free movement and stability of contracts together with the legitimate objective of integrity of the sport and the stability of championships.

“It is now accepted that EU and national law applies to football, and it is also now understood that EU law is able to take into account the specificity of sport, and in particular to recognise that sport performs a very important social, integrating and cultural function. Football now has the legal stability it needs to go forward.”

So the EC accepted that there were ‘good sporting reasons’ for the transfer window system to operate, but more than one sports lawyer in the recent past has suggested that if the window system continues to be operated as it is at the moment, the European Court of Justice might step in again to uphold the principle of freedom of movement and scrap transfer fees altogether.

For it is simply illogical that players can only be traded – for that is what this is, a glorified slave market – during the summer or January in most of Europe, with only emergency signings or signings of discarded players allowed outside the windows.

As the system has developed, something I predicted almost 15 years ago has come to pass – that the big clubs would use the January window to shore up their playing resources at the expense of other clubs who need the money. In other words, the bigger clubs are STILL buying success in mid-season.

The January window was always going to cause maximum stress for managers and players.

Here’s what Craig Levein said yesterday: “This window is worse than the summer window. At least in the summer you feel like you can breathe. Now we’re in this manic period where we seem to be playing constantly and also at the same time trying to worry about what the squad looks like.”

The system should be changed in one of three ways: either transfer fees should be scrapped, or there should be transfers only at the summer window, or they should be allowed all season except for, say, the last two months, as used to be the case in many leagues.

The latter option appeals most as it enables players who have not been getting a game to move on to other clubs and pick up their careers again.

The difficulty with that option would be exactly the same as happened to Juan Mata in January, 2014, when José Mourinho accepted an offer of £37m on Chelsea’s behalf from Manchester United for the Spanish internationalist. Mata duly joined the Old Trafford club in the January window and played in the Premier League only, as he was cup tied for both the Champions League and FA Cup having already player for Chelsea in both tournaments.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger cried foul, pointing out that Mata had already played twice for Chelsea against Arsenal and now Wenger’s club would have to face him a third time playing in a different shirt.

That problem would remain whether the January transfer window is retained or not.

This current window also shows just how cash poor yet unequal the game is in Scotland. When Rangers have to resort to hire purchase to get a player from Hamilton Accies, and when Celtic can earn £7m by doing nothing other than watch Virgil van Dijk move from Southampton to Liverpool, there is something amiss with the game here.

On second thoughts, let’s just keep the windows, because they serve as a reminder of how football has been taken over by money, greed and ludicrous hyperbole that exposes the beautiful game to the ridicule that it thoroughly deserves for being so out of touch with its roots as a game devised, played and supported by ordinary people who will never earn in a lifetime what some players now earn in a month.

Hope you ‘enjoy’ deadline day. My thoughts will be with the players awaiting their manager’s summons to hear the words ‘I’m sorry but…’