Last night, Liverpool beat Manchester United in the Europa League, and many people questioned whether it signalled the end of the traditional ‘big four’.
In the last 20 years, if those two had met in Europe, it would almost certainly have been in the Champions League, but times change, even if the ‘big four’ does not.
The original group was made up of United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea and the only thing that would change from season to season was the order they’d finish in.
When Manchester City were taken over by Sheikh Mansour and his billions, the big four gained another member – but not in place of one of it’s existing teams.
That’s because no matter how poorly the teams are right now, their history keeps them in the picture when top players and managers become available.
This season, the Premier League has been refreshingly competitive.
Leicester City are close to claiming the most unlikely title in history, while perennial underacheivers Tottenham Hotspur are their nearest challengers.
But looking ahead to next season is a timely reminder of the fact that the big four will forever remain.
Jurgen Klopp will be at Liverpool, Pep Guardiola at City and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, while Man United and Chelsea are in the market for a new boss.
Jose Mourinho is widely expected to take over at Old Trafford, while Antonio Conte is the favourite for the Chelsea job.
Those five managers are the cream of the crop, and despite neither of the clubs being in the top two, they still remain the most attractive clubs to work at.
Leicester have done amazingly well this season, but how many top players will they attract this summer?
The Foxes will consider keeping their stars a good transfer window, rather than buying more to build on their breakthrough campaign.
If, for example, Marco Reus becomes available this summer, he’s more likely to join Liverpool, Chelsea or Man City than Leicester or Spurs, no matter what their previous year’s acheivements.
The sponsorship deals, the marketing revenue, the transfer fees they pay and the worldwide pull of the top four will never disappear, so we’d better get used to it.