10 Mar 2001: John Barnes of #22 Essendon listens to the coach during quarter time, during the AFL practice game between Essendon Bombers and the Melbourne Demons played at Optus Oval in Melbourne, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Sean Garnsworthy/ALLSPORT

Former Geelong and Essendon ruckman John Barnes has ripped the AFL for its treatment of player concussions.

The 49-year old has suffered from memory loss and epileptic seizures following a number of head knocks during his 202-game AFL career, according to sen.com.au.

And now he’s taking a stand against the league’s attitude towards concussion with what he believes has been a poor duty of care.

It comes amidst former No. 1 pick Paddy McCartin was delisted by St Kilda to help overcome his concussion symptoms, having copped eight head knocks over his 35-game AFL career.

“I’m 100 per cent sure that the AFL are sh***ing themselves,” Barnes told SEN’s Time On.

“They know the avalanche is coming, they’re holding on and I don’t know what they’re holding on for. They need to come out and make a statement.

“It’s duty of care, it’s the compensation fund that every football is entitled to, which they don’t get.

“It won’t be long until I can’t work at all and the AFL is not going to give a stuff about that and they think we are going away, but we’re not.

“The fight’s real, the fight’s huge and they know they are on a hiding to nothing. That’s the greatest thing about it, I want to see them sit up there and say sorry and watch them all go back into their little rat holes like they do.

“They won’t admit it, I know they won’t, but at least we’ll get some justice … not just for me but for the next footballers that come through.”