The Sunday Mirror says it will cost Ashley a heavy price to get rid of Pardew and his backroom staff if they cannot successfully work with Joe Kinnear.
Pardew and three members of his backroom staff - John Carver, Steve Stone and Andy Woodman - were all handed eight-year contracts last summer.
But the deals do NOT include a break clause or maximum severance agreement - meaning Ashley would have to buy out the trio's wages in full to get rid of them.
It would cost Ashley roughly £10.5million to sack Pardew alone and around another £2.5million to pay up Carver, Stone and Woodman. Ashley had to talk chief scout Graham Carr into staying at Newcastle, following Kinnear's appointment, although club insiders still fear the 68-year-old could review his position again.
Carr also has seven years remaining on his contract, worth roughly £1million.