The 29-year-old left for relegated West Ham in a ?4million move last month after failing to win the long-term contract he was looking for, much to the horror of Magpies fans who saw their team's inspirational captain contribute 12 goals to the cause last season.
Pardew was disappointed to lose Nolan, who had two years remaining on his existing deal, but insisted there would have been little point in keeping a disgruntled player.
Captain not-so-fantastic: Kevin Nolan joined West Ham this summer despite wearing the armband on Tyneside for the last two seasons
He said: 'Kevin didn't want to stay, that's the end of the debate. Kevin couldn't get a contract for four or five years.
'My opinion is that we couldn't give Kevin a five-year contract because if Kevin isn't playing first-team football, he isn't going to be the leader that we want, I am convinced of that.
'Kevin is so full-on as the captain of a football club and at the level he has gone to now, he will easily cope with that and he will come back to the Premier League.
'But in four or five years' time, Kevin needs to be doing the business in the first team, and we couldn't and I couldn't see that possibly happening here at Newcastle, and we had to make a decision on that.'
Get in to Toon: Pardew has money to spend after the sale of Andy Carroll in January
Pardew is hoping success on the pitch will persuade the likes of Jose Enrique, Joey Barton and his new signings that they can achieve their dreams on Tyneside.
The 49-year-old is back behind his desk determined to convince Spanish full-back Enrique his future lies at St James' Park, resolve midfielder Barton's contractual situation and blend new acquisitions Yohan Cabaye, Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux into a squad he firmly believes can kick on from last season's encouraging campaign.
Speculation: Jose Enrique (right)
Pardew also remains in the market for two more signings with a proven striker the main priority, but he knows, with tight financial restrictions in place, gradual progression is the way forward.
He told BBC Radio Newcastle: 'As it stands financially at the moment, we can't compete with those top teams in terms of trading players. But of course we can compete on the football pitch, so what we have tried to do is bring in players that we feel have an improvement in them and a desire to play for Newcastle, andthat's why we targeted the players that we have.
'Nowthe most important thing to keep those players is to put success in front of them. When you are building a new side, it needs to have progression, and that's something we are going to need this season, we are going to need to see a progression in our form, in our consistency and get as close as we can to those top teams.
'Ifwe see that, I think we an keep them another year, and then when we go into that second or third year, then you really, really need to be very,very close because then they are going to start looking, as Jose is now, for those trophies, and I think we can do that.
'Thelikes of (Cheick) Tiote, Cabaye and people like that, we are going to have to have success on the pitch to keep them, 100 per cent.'
He added: 'We have got to be diligent and patient. We are starting the season with five new players - Kevin [Nolan] obviously has gone - but we are in such a better position already.
'But we are poised and I still think we can bring in maybe two more offensive players. We will have to see.'
Enrique is a case in point with the 25-year-old due to return for pre-season training having yet to respond to the offer of a new contract with a host of potential suitors waiting in the wings.
Final fling: Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton is out of contract at St James' Park next year
Pardew admitted he feared at one point that he might not see the full-back this week, and he remains hopeful all is not lost.
He said: 'No-one is more keen for him to stay than myself. He was a terrific player for us last year and he has been terrific for the club.
'We are trying to persuade him to stay, but with a year running on his contract and his desire to play Champions League football at his age, it's going to be difficult to keep him.
'It's one of those situations where we just have to keep watching and hoping that it falls our way.
'It would be foolish for us not to have a back-up plan - which we have - that will kick into operation if Jose does leave.'
Barton has repeatedly signalled his intention to see out the remaining 12 months of his current contract after being told he will not be offered a new one, but Pardew is also keeping his fingers crossed that a solution can be found.
He said: 'A year is a long time in football. Speaking to Joey over the summer, I think me and him have got a good relationship and if I can keep him where he was last year for another year, at the end of season, who's to say we can't agree a contract?
'My situation with Joey is to try to get the best out of him, and what Joey wants is success. Joey needs to see that success on the pitch and if we can give that to him, I think he could stay.'
Safe hands: Newcastle boast one of the top collections of goalkeepers in the league
Pardew declined to comment on speculation that Newcastle have tabled a ?7m bid for Paris St Germain striker Mevlut Erding. However, asked if one of the two remaining signings he is targeting is a striker, he replied: 'Yes.'
The Magpies are monitoring Swansea full-back Neil Taylor's situation from afar after the Welsh club rejected their ?1million offer, a bid the Tyneside club believed triggered a release clause in the defender's contract.
The Toon boss also has a decision to make with his goalkeepers with veteran Steve Harper, Holland international Tim Krul and Fraser Forster, who enjoyed a successful spell on loan at Celtic last season, all vying for the number one spot.
Indeed, one of the three is likely to be playing his football elsewhere during the next campaign rather than operating as number three at St James' Park.
Asked if he would keep all three, the manager added in the BBC interview: 'Probably not, actually, and that's a situation we have to be very careful of. They have all got a genuine, genuine chance to be number one, so when you suddenly become number three, that's a major issue and that will be a major issue for one of them.
'That's something we will have to deal with. In my mind - and hand on heart, I can say this - I haven't really got focused on one particularly goalie.
'Harps was great for me [last season]. He is brilliant in the changing room, he is brilliant in and around it, he knows Newcastle inside-out, he knows how it ticks.
'He will be important to us this year and he wants the number one shirt; Tim wants it - he has just had a brilliant game against Brazil in a full international; and Fraser is coming off a great season.
'It's a great situation for me, but I do need to make a call and I will genuinely, genuinely take all into account - Harps' history, Harps' experience against Tim's inexperience, but natural God-given talent, as with Fraser.'
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