Ashley was at the club's Darsley Park training headquarters on Friday to have lunch with the players and coaching staff ahead of Sunday's final day Barclays Premier League clash with Arsenal at St James' Park.
The atmosphere around the table might have been very different had the Magpies not secured the club's top-flight status with last weekend's 2-1 victory at relegated QPR, but as the sportswear magnate headed off by helicopter, attention was already turning to next season and what alterations need to be made to prevent a repeat.
Pardew knows the inevitable inquest is unlikely to be pleasant after a campaign of serious under-achievement for which blame will be apportioned accordingly, but asked what his message to Ashley would be, he was swift to respond.
He said: "My message is purely that we need to just find some round pegs for a couple of round holes that we need to fill in this team.
"If we get that right, I think we will be okay. But I do think we need to add a little bit more experience of the level we are at."
Finishing fifth last season gave Pardew a strong hand as he attempted to lure his summer targets, although there is a general acceptance that the club did not do enough during the closed season to give the manager the ammunition to compete on both the domestic and European fronts.
However, he remains confident he has the basis of a good side already.
Pardew said: "We have got some fantastic players here. We haven't had the consistency this year and the continuity that we had the year before.
"But without the Europa League next year, we will and if you look at our squad, we have still got some very, very good players and if we get the recruitment right, then we could be a force next year."