Slaven Bilic believes the days of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal domination are over.
The Premier League has undergone something of a switch-up this season - its leaders are Leicester and Chelsea are 10th - and Bilic, whose West Ham side have also been a surprise package, reckons there has been a permanent shift at the top.
The Croation referred to the Premier League’s incoming £5.1 billion TV deal as the cause of lasting change.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay5
He said, per FourFourTwo: "I think this is a permanent shift at the top. At least I hope it is.
"Our story is excellent but [Leicester’s] story is miraculous. I would love to be the number one story."
West Ham are fifth in the table, just a point behind fourth-placed Manchester City and three adrift of Arsenal.
And Bilic believes the new TV deal will allow the lesser teams to strengthen more considerably than the traditional big clubs.
"Say Man City buy Karim Benzema. They have Sergio Aguero already, so there is no big gap for them to improve," he added.
"There is no big space to get much better. Chelsea can sell Diego Costa and buy Robert Lewandowski, yes, but they are only different; not better.
"But clubs like us, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Leicester: we can still improve with the money. Two years ago West Brom maybe could afford Salomon Rondon, but they would have had to sell Saido Berahino to get him.
“Now they can keep Berahino, so next year, with more investment, you can keep those players. Crystal Palace can keep Yohan Cabaye and bring another one."
Leicester will break top four stranglehold
Leicester have a five-point lead at the top of the table and are showing no signs of slipping up. If the Foxes do finish the job, it will be the first time since 1995 that a team not named Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal has won the league.
But no team other than Claudio Ranieri’s seems desperate to lift the Premier League trophy. Tottenham led Arsenal 2-1 but were hauled back despite the Gunners being reduced to 10 men on Saturday, while Arsene Wenger’s team have won just two of their past nine league matches.
The Foxes aren't a fluke
Nobody can regard Leicester a fluke if they go on to win the title. In Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, they have two players who will surely go head-to-head to be crowned Player of the Season, while Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante have been stellar in midfield.
Whether they can repeat this season’s feats remains to be seen. The aforementioned names will all be targeted by the traditional big clubs and perhaps even from abroad.
Leicester will hope that Champions League football, something they can offer but Chelsea and Manchester United might not, will be enough to keep their stars.