Former Aston Villa midfielder Ray Houghton says the club's failure to sign any new players in the January transfer window was 'quite remarkable'.
Villa are bottom of the Premier League, 10 points adrift of safety.
"It probably says we're going down, it's as simple as that and as clear as that," Houghton told BBC World Service.
"I've heard some of the quotes from Remi Garde, the current manager, and that wasn't what he was told when he took over. He thought there would be funds available in January to strengthen the squad.
"To have brought no-one in is quite remarkable in many respects, this is probably the best window for the teams at the bottom because they're the ones that panic the most.
"The amount of money that's coming into the Premier League next season is huge and for a club like Villa not to be in it next season would be unbelievable."
BBC WM's Mike Taylor on Villa
"Newspaper stories suggesting that Remi Garde might consider his future as Villa manager following their failure to improve the squad in the transfer window may attract some sympathy from Villa supporters.
"Garde has already told us that any signings the club did manage to make on deadline day would not be his first choices.
"Villa's league position didn't make the task easier, but any slight lift in morale from the recent brief unbeaten run now appears to have been lost."