The former FA chairman says the Premier League’s bottom club are not guaranteed to bounce straight back next season – and could even go down again.
Bernstein, who is leading Villa’s new football board, was chairman at City when they recovered from their drop into the third tier in 1998.
“The Manchester City thing is a warning,” said Bernstein, who could sack boss Remi Garde in the next few days.
“It has happened to other clubs and it has happened to Aston Villa before. We all know it can happen.